News from Patrick Flynn

Labor pains

After a lot of discussion, questions and debate, the Assembly ratified two previously expired contracts last night. The first, which covers the Anchorage Municipal Employees Association (think clerks, librarians and planners), expired in 2007 and will run through 2012, with wage re-openers in 2011 and 2012. In other words, it’s essentially a two year deal with two one-year options.

The second, which covers members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (primarily ML&P employees), expired in September 2008 and runs through 2013 with wage re-openers in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. So, from a wage standpoint, this is a one-year deal with four one-year options.

Leading up to tonight’s discussion there were many taxpayer questions about the length of these contracts, which is a legitimate concern. And, had the wage re-openers not been part of the agreement, I might have agreed. That said, both employee groups have accepted wage freezes in past years during hard times and the re-openers give us the opportunity to seek such an accommodation should economic circumstances dictate.

Less certain is the fate of the upcoming fire and police contracts, covering members of the International Association of Firefighters and Anchorage Police Department Employees Association, which are slated for a public hearing on December 16. Part of the concern is that those contracts haven’t yet expired, part is the length (again, five years) and part is some of the terms. As I noted last week, I have a particular concern with using municipal tax dollars to pay the salary of the APDEA president.

Waiting in the wings are several proposals aimed and restricting the use of Memorandums of Agreement, which appear to be slated for discussion in January. As I noted previously, I think it’s entirely reasonable to place sideboards on the practice but am unsure whether that discussion will remain on topic.

While things were cordial tonight, except for a few choice e-mails, it’ll be interesting to see if the same holds true at our next meeting.



This contribution was made on Wednesday, 03. December 2008 at 06:30 and was published under the category Fiscal matters. You can follow comments on this entry through the RSS-Feed.

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  1. I would just like to know why these contracts need to be delt with before they expire? It look’s like payback for Mark’s Senate run! Police overtime to senior officers is nothing
    more then a way to up their retiement earnings and the practice should be stopped now! I am a property Tax payer and in an E-mail I sent to Assembly members I asked them to rid us of property Tax and institute a sales Tax. Patrick said it has been tried before and failed. The reason it fails each time is because the voters do not trust that property taxes would go down.
    We need a sales tax only. I think if most voters new they would only pay a sales Tax and NO more property Tax It wolud pass. It can’t be both!

    Comment: Chuck – 05. December 2008 @ 10:56 am

  2. […] I read through the amended contract prior to our December deliberations¬†I did not pick up on the expansion of jurisdiction.¬† To the best of my knowledge none of my […]

    Pingback: Patrick Flynn’s Blog » An electric atmosphere | – 21. February 2009 @ 1:28 pm

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