March 11, 2005
The contract was a product of arbitration with the federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, which must settle contract disputes with essential state employees barred by state or federal law from going on strike. The state and PSEA on Wednesday accepted the terms delivered by federal mediator William Greer.
"This contract is important because we have no priority higher than that of assuring the safety and security of every Alaskan," Murkowski said. "We hope that the Legislature will approve this contract in short order."
The arbitrator accepted the state's proposal of a three-year contract that provides a 3 percent wage increase each year. He accepted the union proposal for a 5-percent premium for public safety employees assigned to conduct aquatic dives, handle explosives or participate on the department's Special Emergency Response Team (SERT). And he accepted the state proposal for premium pay to pilots, as well as relocation incentives of $2000 to $5000 for troopers required to move to remote locations. The contract would become effective July 1, 2005.
"This agreement is balanced and fair to both sides," said Administration Commissioner Ray Matiashowski. "Every Alaskan benefits when we provide our public safety officers with equitable working conditions."
The two sides appeared before the arbitrator in January after PSEA members rejected a tentative agreement last year. The union had been seeking a contract with a 20 percent first year increase.
"The contract will provide
employees with additional pay for specialized duties while maintaining
management's right to direct and assign the workforce,"
said Public Safety Commissioner William Tandeske.
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