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Administration Reaches Agreement with Local 71
Contract Has No Increase in First Year, 2 Percent in Second & Third Years


March 04, 2004
Thursday - 1:10 am

The Murkowski Administration reached agreement Wednesday with Public Employees Local 71 for a new two and one-half year agreement. Local 71 represents approximately 1600 employees in labor, trades, and crafts jobs. The new agreement takes effect on July 1, 2004, and expires December 31, 2006, and requires ratification by the membership and approval by the Legislature.

"We are proud of our public employees, and are heartened that Local 71 is the first of the public employee unions to come to agreement on a new long-term contract," said Governor Frank H. Murkowski. "I appreciate that they negotiated with the state in good faith, and their interest in doing what is right for the people of Alaska they serve. In reaching agreement, Local 71 recognized the financial challenges facing the state, and stepped up to do their part."

The new agreement continues status quo contract conditions and provides for zero percent increase in wages for the first year, starting on July 1, 2004. But it has a 2 percent increase to the wage scale on July 1, 2005, and an additional 2 percent on July 1, 2006. The State agreed to provide the same level of contribution to the union's health insurance trust as it makes to the State's Select Benefits Plan.

Commissioner of Administration Mike Miller said, " We are very pleased that the people who perform such vital services as airport and road maintenance are under contract and agree with the Governor's objective of minimizing cost increases while still providing a competitive wage and benefits package. The Local 71 contract is very mature and settled, so our real issues were the economics. It is always difficult in these times of tight budgets, but Local 71 stepped up. We appreciate that."

"After hard negotiations, we have reached a tentative agreement that we will now send out to our members for ratification," said Jim Ashton, assistant business manager for Local 71. "We agreed to the commissioner's plan to maintain our basic health insurance, and look forward to keeping our health benefits at the quality level our members have enjoyed."

Ashton was chief spokesman for the union in the bargaining process.



Source of News Release:

Office of the Governor
Web Site


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