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Tue Mar 18, 2014, 03:26 AM


Please send letters to Senate Finance Committee opposing SB 182 [View all]

Not sure if you folks knew this, but I'm a steward on the Alaska Marine Highway System. At this moment, we are negotiating our next contract, and Senator Fred Dyson is intervening in the negotiating process by pushing through a bill(SB 182)that would impose, if passed and implemented, a 10% pay cut(or greater) on most AMHS crewmembers.

The bill would do this by removing the COLD(Cost of Living Differential)from the wage rates for in-state crewmembers.

In-state crewmembers(there are only a small number who work out of state)are paid a wage scale based on the cost of living in Anchorage. Out of state crewmembers are paid based on the cost of living in Seattle. While living costs haven't declined in Anchorage(which is probably the cheapest place to live in the state, and which is also a place where only a tiny minority of AMHS crew actually live)haven't declined, costs in Seattle have risen sharply(due to that good ol' "free market" the Right loves so much). So, rather than increase out of state crew wages to the Anchorage level, they want to cut in state crew wages to match those in seattle.

This bill would reduce in-state wages for stewards(most AMHS crew are stewards, the people who take care of passengers directly and are primarily responsible for passenger safety during a shipboard emergency)by $4 an hour...or over $660 a month...OR over $7800 a year. Most of us have families to take care of...many have elderly relatives or parents they are also responsible for...this bill would impose a massive hardship and may well be an unfair labor practice. And it will take millions of dollars out of the Alaska economy, many of which will be taken out of small towns and villages in Southeast and Southwest Alaska, regions that are still especially hard hit by the continuing recession.

You can get the email addresses for the Senate Finance Committee at the Inlandboatmen's Union Of The Pacific, Alaska Region website: http://ibupak.org/

Please write if you can. It will be especially helpful if we can get people from Anchorage and the Railbelt writing in against this bill. Thank you for whatever all of you can do on this.

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Reply Please send letters to Senate Finance Committee opposing SB 182 [View all]
Ken Burch Mar 2014 OP
grahamhgreen Mar 2014 #1
oldandhappy Mar 2014 #2
Ken Burch Mar 2014 #3
Enthusiast Mar 2014 #4