Sitnews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska - Opinions


Governor Fights Union Leader's Attempt to
Require Negotiations Outside the Capital


March 20, 2004
Saturday - 1:30 am

Governor Frank Murkowski on Friday directed the Department of Administration to strongly oppose an attempt by Alaska State Employees Association business manager, and former Juneau Senator, Jim Duncan to require the state to negotiate union contracts outside the Capital City.

Duncan recently filed an unfair labor practice complaint after the state refused to conduct negotiations with ASEA outside of Alaska's Capital. The administration's position is that this is an inherently internal governmental business and the state should be allowed to conduct the negotiations in its Capital.

"The Capital is the most effective place to conduct internal business," said Commissioner of Administration Mike Miller. "This is where the Legislature is located, where agency records are kept, and where the Division of Labor Relations is located. Juneau is the seat of government, where the Commissioners live, and where the business of state government takes place. The state should not have to travel outside of the Capital to conduct its internal business."

Former Juneau Senator Duncan is claiming that Juneau is too inconvenient and too expensive to conduct state business. The state has continually offered video conferencing as an alternative, so union members in other locations can participate. Video-conference technology is better than the systems the general population uses to interact with the Legislature, and is what Anchorage courts use to conduct some criminal hearings. Unfortunately, Duncan has been unwilling to even try the technology, insisting on conducting the state's internal business in Anchorage.

In another matter, the Alaska Labor Relations Agency has found probable cause in the state's charge that former Senator Duncan has engaged in an unfair labor practice by attempting to coerce the state in its choice of spokesman in the current round of bargaining.


Source of News Release:

Office of the Governor
Web Site


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