Alaska Employees Union Files Class-Action Grievance Over Governor’s Plan to Privatize

Source: SitNews, December 29, 2016

An Alaska State Employees association filed a class-action grievance Tuesday against Governor Walker and his Administration on behalf of Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities construction design employees, whose duties will be privatized under Gov. Walker’s proposed FY2018 Operating Budget. The grievance was filed by ASEA/AFSCME Local 52 headquartered in Anchorage. ASEA/AFSCME Local 52 represents more than 8,000 state and municipal employees across Alaska. In addition to cutting hundreds of positions to bridge Alaska’s fiscal gap, Governor Walker’s budget includes plans to privatize construction design work in the Department of Transportation & Public Facilities without performing a feasibility study or providing an opportunity for the Union to submit alternate proposals to retain State employees, as is required under the Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiated by the State of Alaska and ASEA. …

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State employees union files grievance over Governor Walker’s plan to privatize DOT jobs
Source: Daniella Rivera, KTVA, December 27, 2016

Gov. Bill Walker is facing more pushback over his proposed budget for next year, this time in the form of a grievance a state employees union has filed. Staff members of the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities’ design department are responsible for designing construction projects like roads and intersections. Part of Walker’s fiscal plan is letting 76 of those employees go in 2018 and up to 300 more in the future, as well as outsourcing jobs. His fiscal year 2018 Budget Review says, “Outsourcing design has the added advantage of bolstering the private sector economy while maximizing the number of projects completed with the available transportation funding.” … The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the ASEA, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 52 and the State of Alaska — which took effect in July — states in Article 13, “Decisions to contract out shall be made only after the affected agency has conducted a written feasibility study determining the potential costs and benefits that would result from contracting out the work in question. The study shall include all costs associated with contracting out the work in question including, but not limited to, wages, benefits, administrative costs, agency overhead, program supervision, and audits.” Duncan said that study hasn’t been done, and the governor’s plan breaches the contract. The grievance claims the governor and the state have “failed to consider the intent behind the agreement regarding privatization” by acting outside the CBA’s guidelines. Because of that, ASEA claims the governor and state are in violation of Article 13 and wants them to immediately stop contracting out members’ work and follow the CBA’s rules regarding privatization. Duncan said roughly 50 percent of design work is currently outsourced. …