Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/23/1995 01:30 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
 SL&C 2/23/95                                                                  
         SB  76 NONUNION STATE EMPLOYEE SALARY INCREASE                       
                                                                              
 CHAIRMAN KELLY called the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee                 
 meeting to order at 1:30 p.m. and announced SB 76 to be up for                
 consideration.  He said this legislation was introduced at the                
 request of Arthur Snowdon, Administrator of the Alaska Court                  
 System.                                                                       
                                                                               
 ARTHUR SNOWDON explained that the non-covered employees of this               
 State, not just the Judicial Branch, have not received a pay raise            
 in over five years.  The unions received a pay raise of 3.2% about            
 three years ago.  He noted that by statute the Personnel Board must           
 do a study every year on salaries within the State and they have              
 produced the study which recommends the statutory pay scale for               
 non-covered employees be increased by 6.2% as of July 1, 1995.                
 That is because they are 6.2% behind the union employees.                     
                                                                               
 He said AS 39.25.152 (b) requires that non-covered employees be               
 paid the equivalent of union employees and  AS 39.27.035 says that            
 union and non-union employees are to be paid the same amount of               
 annual wages taking into account reasonable pay relationships.                
                                                                               
 MR. SNOWDON said that he knew the Legislature might cut state                 
 salaries in the future, but he thought everyone should be on the              
 same footing before that happened.                                            
                                                                               
 SENATOR KELLY asked if this was an overall percentage increase and            
 do people still get merit increases every year.  MR. SNOWDON                  
 responded that everyone is on a step increase system.                         
                                                                               
 Number 80                                                                     
 MIKE MCMULLEN, Acting Director, Division of Personnel, said his               
 department produced the report this legislation was based on.  He             
 explained that the report was done in July 1994.  At that time the            
 statutory salary schedule was 3.6% behind the salary of all the               
 bargaining units.  In addition, one bargaining unit had a signed              
 agreement for a pay raise effective July 1, 1995.  The                        
 recommendation was to catch up the 3.6% the unions had for several            
 years, plus the known 2.5% for the one union that had the signed              
 agreement beginning in July 1995.                                             
                                                                               
 Since then, he said, the Supervisory Bargaining Unit has agreed to            
 a contract proposal that would raise their rates 6.67% July 1, 1995           
 and at the same time would move them to a 40-hour work week.                  
 The Labor, Trades, and Crafts Bargaining Unit has settled for an              
 agreement which extends their normal work week to 40 hours                    
 providing the de facto 6.67% pay increase.                                    
                                                                               
 The Administration has taken the position with the largest                    
 bargaining unit, General Government, which is still in                        
 negotiations.  That pay increases would have to come from a                   
 refinancing internally to the bargaining unit.  MR. MCMULLEN said             
 the ultimate outcome was still a question.                                    
                                                                               
 Number 160                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR KELLY asked what the timing was.  MR. MCMULLEN answered               
 that negotiations were going this afternoon and it was hard to                
 predict when there would be an agreement.                                     
                                                                               
 SENATOR KELLY said the ultimate decision would be made in the                 
 Finance Committee.                                                            
                                                                               
 SENATOR MILLER moved to pass SB 76 with individual recommendations.           
 There were no objections and it was so ordered.                               

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