March 12, 2004
The Public Safety Officers agreement takes effect March 1, 2004, and remains in place until February 28, 2006. The Correctional Officer agreement takes effect July 1, 2004 and remains in place to June 30, 2006. Both agreements are tentative, pending ratification by the employees and approval by the Legislature. Employees will receive specific details of the agreements directly from their PSEA representatives.
"We are delighted that the PSEA has come on board with two agreements that are consistent with the goals of this administration, agreements that maintain adequate compensation for our Public Safety Officers and Correctional Officers, and recognize the state's fiscal situation," said Governor Frank H. Murkowski. "I'm very proud of our Public Safety Officers for the very visible and effective job they do enforcing our laws and protecting Alaska's vital airports. Correctional Officers perform an unseen but necessary duty that maintains public safety for all Alaskans. And, I am most pleased with the good faith that the association put forward to reach voluntary agreements with the state."
Both agreements provide a 2 percent wage increase each year for two years. The state agreed to provide the same level of health insurance contribution to employees of both bargaining units based on what is necessary to maintain the state's Select Benefits Plan.
The PSEA represents Public Safety Officers and Correctional Officers under two separate collective bargaining agreements. The Public Safety Officers unit contains approximately 365 public safety officers and 82 airport police and firefighters. Public Safety Officers provide law enforcement throughout the state through the Department of Public Safety's Trooper Division and Fire Prevention Division. Airport police and firefighters provide law enforcement and fire services at the Anchorage and Fairbanks International airports.
More than 700 Correctional Officers are employed in 13 correctional centers operated by the State of Alaska Department of Corrections. Their primary mission is to protect the public by incarcerating and supervising offenders.
Commissioner of Administration Mike Miller said, "It's great to have these employees under contract, they provide critical services and they recognize the Governor's objectives of maintaining service at a cost consistent with the financial needs of the state. Negotiations were especially long with both units; they demonstrated patience with the process and character by coming to an agreement voluntarily."
"The knowledge that we have the two public safety units, along with Local 71 under contract is a significant accomplishment for the administration. We know that the roads will be clear and the airports will be open and that the people of Alaska will be able to go about their lives in safety," said Miller.
"After ten months of negotiations
we feel we've reached a fair agreement that is acceptable and
adequately takes care of our members," said Sgt. Jeff Manns,
corporate board president of PSEA. "We look forward to working
with the administration to ensure that Alaska's public safety
needs are met."
Source of News Release & Photograph: