Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/25/1996 03:08 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
          HOUSE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE                          
                         March 25, 1996                                        
                           3:08 p.m.                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Representative Pete Kott, Chairman                                            
 Representative Norman Rokeberg, Vice Chairman                                 
 Representative Kim Elton                                                      
 Representative Jerry Sanders                                                  
 Representative Brian Porter                                                   
 Representative Gene Kubina                                                    
                                                                               
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
                                                                               
 Representative Beverly Masek                                                  
                                                                               
 OTHER HOUSE MEMBERS PRESENT                                                   
                                                                               
 Representative Bill Williams                                                  
                                                                               
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
                                                                               
 *HOUSE BILL NO. 497                                                           
 "An Act relating to chiropractic peer review; and providing for an            
 effective date."                                                              
                                                                               
      - PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                
                                                                               
 HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 12                                                       
 Supporting the collective bargaining agreement between the                    
 University of Alaska and the Alaska Community Colleges' Federation            
 of Teachers.                                                                  
                                                                               
      - PASSED CSHR 12(L&C) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                   
                                                                               
 *HOUSE BILL NO. 432                                                           
 "An Act relating to the practice of veterinary medicine."                     
                                                                               
     - PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                 
                                                                               
 (* First public hearing)                                                      
                                                                               
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 497                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: CHIROPRACTIC PEER REVIEW                                         
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MULDER BY REQUEST                               
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG            ACTION                                        
 02/12/96      2723    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/12/96      2723    (H)   LABOR & COMMERCE                                  
 03/20/96              (H)   L&C AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
 03/20/96              (H)   MINUTE(L&C)                                       
 03/25/96              (H)   L&C AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
                                                                               
 BILL:  HR  12                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: UNIV. COLLECTIVE BARGAINING CONTRACT                             
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) WILLIAMS,B.Davis                                
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG            ACTION                                        
 02/12/96      2721    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/12/96      2721    (H)   HES, LABOR & COMMERCE                             
 03/19/96              (H)   HES AT  2:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/19/96              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 03/21/96              (H)   HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/21/96              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 03/21/96      3258    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): B.DAVIS                             
 03/22/96      3265    (H)   HES RPT  2DP 3NR                                  
 03/22/96      3265    (H)   DP: ROBINSON, BRICE                               
 03/22/96      3265    (H)   NR: ROKEBERG, BUNDE, TOOHEY                       
 03/22/96      3265    (H)   FISCAL NOTE (UA)                                  
 03/22/96              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 03/22/96      3265    (H)   REFERRED TO LABOR & COMMERCE                      
 03/25/96              (H)   L&C AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 432                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: VETERINARY LICENSING                                             
 SPONSOR(S): LABOR & COMMERCE                                                  
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG            ACTION                                        
 01/19/96      2484    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/19/96      2485    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, LABOR & COMMERCE                   
 02/15/96              (H)   STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 02/15/96              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 02/15/96      2772    (H)   STA RPT  1DP 5NR                                  
 02/15/96      2772    (H)   DP: JAMES                                         
 02/15/96      2772    (H)   NR: PORTER, GREEN, ROBINSON, WILLIS               
 02/15/96      2772    (H)   NR: OGAN                                          
 02/15/96      2772    (H)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (ADM)                            
 02/15/96      2772    (H)   REFERRED TO LABOR & COMMERCE                      
 02/26/96              (H)   L&C AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
 02/26/96              (H)   MINUTE(L&C)                                       
 03/25/96              (H)   L&C AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
                                                                               
 WITNESS LIST                                                                  
                                                                               
 TIM SULLIVAN, Staff                                                           
 Representative Eldon Mulder                                                   
 Alaska State House of Representatives                                         
 Capitol Building, Room 411                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska  99811                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2647                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Offered sponsor statement on behalf of                   
                      HB 497.                                                  
 KYLE JOHANSEN, Staff                                                          
 Representative Bill Williams                                                  
 Alaska State House of Representatives                                         
 Capitol Building, Room 128                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska  99811                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3424                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Offered sponsor statement on behalf of                   
                      HR 12.                                                   
                                                                               
 RALPH MCGRATH, President                                                      
 Alaska Community College Federation of Teachers                               
 2533 Providence Drive                                                         
 Anchorage, Alaska  99501                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 562-2660                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HR 12.                           
                                                                               
 ERIC LEEGARD, ACCFT Representative                                            
 University of Alaska Southeast                                                
 P.O. Box 32306                                                                
 Juneau, Alaska  99803                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 780-4021                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HR 12.                           
                                                                               
 RAY ZAGORSKI                                                                  
 Kenai Peninsula College                                                       
 P.O. Box 3474                                                                 
 Soldotna, Alaska  99669                                                       
 Telephone:  (907) 262-0348                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HR 12.                           
                                                                               
 DAYNE CLARK, ACCFT Representative                                             
 Kenai Peninsula College                                                       
 34820 College Drive                                                           
 Soldotna, Alaska  99669                                                       
 Telephone:  (907) 262-3541                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HR 12.                           
                                                                               
 PHILIP SLATTERY, ACCFT Representative                                         
 Sitka Campus, University of Alaska Southeast                                  
 P.O. Box 1864                                                                 
 Sitka, Alaska  99835                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 747-8482                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HR 12.                           
                                                                               
 CHARLES WADE, Professor of Applied Business                                   
 University of Alaska                                                          
 Kuskokwim Community Campus                                                    
 P.O. Box 506                                                                  
 Bethel, Alaska  99559                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 543-2847                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HR 12.                           
                                                                               
 JOLI MORGAN, Professor of Applied Business                                    
 University of Alaska                                                          
 Kuskokwim Community Campus                                                    
 P.O. Box 844                                                                  
 Bethel, Alaska  99559                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 543-2013                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HR 12.                           
                                                                               
 WILLIAM K. JERMAIN, Attorney                                                  
 Jermain, Dunnagan and Owens, P.C.                                             
 3000 A Street, Suite 300                                                      
 Anchorage, Alaska  99503                                                      
 Telephone:  563-8844                                                          
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HR 12.                           
                                                                               
 DAVE DAU, Treasurer                                                           
 Alaska Community College Federation of Teachers                               
 2533 Providence                                                               
 Anchorage, Alaska  99508                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 562-2660                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HR 12.                           
                                                                               
 GEORGE GUTHRIDGE, Associate Professor of English                              
 Dillingham Community Campus                                                   
 University of Alaska                                                          
 P.O. Box 883                                                                  
 Dillingham, Alaska  99576                                                     
 Telephone:  (907) 842-5483                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HR 12.                           
                                                                               
 ROE THOMAS, CHAIRMAN                                                          
 Ketchikan Central Labor Council                                               
 P.O. Box 8282                                                                 
 Ketchikan, Alaska  99901                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 225-4858                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HR 12.                           
                                                                               
 BOB WARNER, Associate Professor of Library Science                            
 University of Alaska Southeast, Ketchikan Campus                              
 888 Monroe Street                                                             
 Ketchikan, Alaska  99901                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 225-4722                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HR 12.                           
                                                                               
 PRISCILLA SCHULTE, ACCFT Representative                                       
 Ketchikan Campus                                                              
 University of Alaska Southeast                                                
 P.O. Box 5721                                                                 
 Ketchikan, Alaska  99901                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 225-4722                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HR 12                            
                                                                               
 WENDY REDMAN, Vice President                                                  
 University Relations                                                          
 University of Alaska                                                          
 P.O. Box 155000                                                               
 Fairbanks, Alaska                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 474-7582                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HR 12, and                    
                      in support of attached fiscal note.                      
                                                                               
 GEORGE DOZIER, Staff                                                          
 Representative Pete Kott                                                      
 Alaska State House of Representatives                                         
 Capital Building, Room 432                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3306                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Offered sponsor statement in support of                  
                      HB 432.                                                  
                                                                               
 DEANNA J. THORNELL, D.V.M.                                                    
 Board of Veterinary Examiners                                                 
 P.O. Box 61263                                                                
 Fairbanks, Alaska  99706                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 479-2800                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 432.                          
                                                                               
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
                                                                               
 TAPE 96-29, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 0025                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PETE KOTT called the House Labor and Commerce Standing               
 Committee to order at 3:08 p.m.  Members present at the call to               
 order were Representatives Kott and Sanders.  Chairman Kott                   
 announced the committee would stand at ease until a quorum was                
 present.  He called the committee back to order when                          
 Representatives Elton and Kubina arrive.  Representatives Porter              
 and Rokeberg arrived late.  Representative Masek was absent.                  
                                                                               
 HB 497 - CHIROPRACTIC PEER REVIEW                                           
                                                                               
 Number 0095                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced the first order of business to come before            
 the House Labor and Commerce Committee was HOUSE BILL NO. 497, "An            
 Act relating to chiropractic peer review; and providing for an                
 effective date."                                                              
                                                                               
 TIM SULLIVAN, of Representative Eldon Mulder's staff, read a                  
 sponsor statement for HB 497, as follows:  "The Chiropractic Peer             
 Review Committee was formed by the Board of Chiropractic Examiners            
 in 1994 pursuant to statute 08.20.185(a), the statute we are                  
 proposing to amend today with this bill.  The initial Peer Review             
 Committee consisted of three chiropractors.  The board then added             
 a lay person to the committee.  Under current statute, only the               
 chiropractors on the committee have immunity for decisions they               
 make as committee members.  The lay person does not have immunity             
 for those same decisions.  House Bill 497 would extend immunity to            
 the lay person by extending immunity to all members of the                    
 committee."                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 0314                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GENE KUBINA made a motion to move HB 497 from the              
 House Labor and Commerce Committee, with attached zero fiscal note            
 and individual recommendations.  It was noted for the record that             
 the Board of Chiropractic Examiners supports HB 497.                          
                                                                               
 Number 0348                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced that, there being no objection, HB 497 was            
 passed out of the House Labor and Commerce Committee with attached            
 zero fiscal note and individual recommendations.                              
                                                                               
 HR 12 - UNIV. COLLECTIVE BARGAINING CONTRACT                                
                                                                               
 Number 0438                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced that the next order of business to come               
 before the committee was HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 12, "Supporting the             
 collective bargaining agreement between the University of Alaska              
 and the Alaska Community Colleges' Federation of Teachers."                   
                                                                               
 KYLE JOHANSEN, of Representative Bill Williams' staff, read a                 
 sponsor statement in support of HR 12, as follows:  "I introduced             
 House Resolution 12 on behalf of the Alaska Community College                 
 Federation of Teachers.                                                       
                                                                               
 "It is my understanding that on May 8, 1992 the University of                 
 Alaska Board of Regents approved a Collective Bargaining Agreement            
 between the University of Alaska and the ACCFT.                               
                                                                               
 "In June of 1993, through a change in University policy, the                  
 Collective Bargaining Agreement was compromised.  An April 1995               
 arbitration decision ruled the original Collective Bargaining                 
 Agreement should be fulfilled.                                                
                                                                               
 I am asking that the legislature support the ruling of the                    
 arbitrator."                                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 0536                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JERRY SANDERS asked where the fiscal note came from.           
 MR. JOHANSEN responded that he was not prepared to testify on that            
 subject.                                                                      
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT noted that the fiscal note resulted from the contract           
 not being funded by the University.                                           
                                                                               
 Number 0600                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KIM ELTON stated his belief that the fiscal note               
 represents "a little bit of trickery."                                        
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT concurred, and stated that the committee would take             
 up the matter of the fiscal note, after hearing testimony from                
 witnesses.                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT called on the first witness, Ralph McGrath.                     
                                                                               
 Number 0800                                                                   
                                                                               
 RALPH MCGRATH, President, Alaska Community College Federation of              
 Teachers (ACCFT), stated that the ACCFT is the bargaining agent for           
 approximately 280 faculty, who are largely responsible for the                
 continuation and delivery of community college programs within the            
 University of Alaska.  This includes vocational\technical, adult              
 basic education, and continuing education type courses.  He further           
 stated that the ACCFT supports HR 12 as it was originally                     
 submitted.  The current version, which was amended in the House               
 Health, Education and Social Services Committee, contains a fiscal            
 note which the ACCFT does not support.                                        
                                                                               
 Number 1041                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. MCGRATH further testified that HR 12 came about because a                 
 contract between the ACCFT and the University of Alaska Board of              
 Regents, which provided for a 3 percent cost of living increase,              
 was not honored by the board of regents.  The matter was then taken           
 to arbitration, and the arbitrator directed the university                    
 administration to pay the 3 percent.  The university took the                 
 position that the arbitrator's award meant that the university had            
 to request the money from the legislature.  During last year's                
 legislative session, the university made a funding request.                   
 However, no action was ever taken on the request.  When the                   
 legislative session ended in May, the university communicated to              
 the ACCFT that the legislature had rejected the funding necessary             
 for the 3 percent pay increase.  The ACCFT takes the position that            
 non-action by the legislature is not the same as action to reject.            
 The university now takes the position that they will not request              
 the money to fund the increase for 1995.  Therefore, HR 12 is                 
 intended to express legislative intent.                                       
                                                                               
 Number 1061                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. MCGRATH explained that the ACCFT believes legislative intent is           
 consistent with last year's session, when the legislature was                 
 looking at the funding of Local 71 and the Inland Boatman's                   
 contracts.  At that time, the legislature requested an                        
 interpretation from legislative legal counsel, Teresa Cramer.  The            
 ACCFT based its resolution on Ms. Cramer's interpretation, which              
 states that if the legislature does not take a specific action to             
 reject, but does appropriate salaries, then they have in fact                 
 appropriated the terms of the contract.  Mr. McGrath reiterated               
 that the ACCFT believes the fiscal note attached in House HESS is             
 not necessary.  In closing, he reminded the committee that if the             
 university had honored the arbitrator's award, he would not be                
 appearing before them today.  Mr. McGrath reiterated that the                 
 university has failed to perform its responsibilities as a state              
 agency.                                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 1097                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if the fiscal note alluded to would cover the             
 costs for FY 95 or FY 96.                                                     
                                                                               
 MR. MCGRATH responded that it would cover FY 95.  His understanding           
 is that the $500,000 the university is requesting would simply                
 bring the faculty up to where they should have been.  The                     
 additional one million dollars is to maintain the level for future            
 years, which would cover only FY 95 costs.                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT stated his understanding of the proposed resolution.            
 In early 1992, the university negotiated a collective bargaining              
 agreement with the ACCFT, which became binding when approved by the           
 board of regents in May of 1992.  In June of 1993, the university             
 suspended that policy.                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 1190                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. MCGRATH concurred.  However, there was no impact on the faculty           
 members until July of 1994.  At that time, the ACCFT filed a                  
 grievance.  The grievance process resulted in binding arbitration,            
 and the arbitrator ruled in April of 1995 that the faculty members            
 were entitled to a 3 percent pay increase.                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if the negotiations which took place in July of           
 1992 applied to FY 93.                                                        
                                                                               
 MR. MCGRATH responded that the terms of the contract applied                  
 through July of 1994.  Then, according to the contract and state              
 law, the conditions remain in place until a successor contract is             
 negotiated.  A successor agreement has not yet been reached.                  
                                                                               
 Number 1236                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN ROKEBERG asked if the contract was now the              
 subject of litigation.                                                        
                                                                               
 MR. MCGRATH responded in the affirmative.  He stated that Mr. Bob             
 Jermain, ACCFT attorney, was on line to answer questions related to           
 the legal case, but that it is his understanding that the legal               
 case focuses on the university's statutory and constitutional                 
 obligations.                                                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG commented that he would like the committee            
 to discuss the Cramer legal opinion.  He stated that HR 12 had                
 received two hearings in the House Health, Education and Social               
 Services Committee, and there were comments that Ms. Cramer's                 
 opinion had been taken out of context.                                        
                                                                               
 MR. MCGRATH responded that the ACCFT's legal counsel feels the                
 proposed resolution is consistent with Ms. Cramer's opinion.                  
                                                                               
 Number 1334                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced that the next witness would be Eric                   
 Leegard.                                                                      
                                                                               
 ERIC LEEGARD, ACCFT representative for the University of Alaska               
 Southeast campus, noted that he and other ACCFT members had                   
 submitted written testimony for the committee.  ACCFT members                 
 believe that they have upheld their end of the contract, and are              
 asking that the university uphold its end.                                    
                                                                               
 Number 1417                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced that the committee would now take testimony           
 via teleconference.  He stated that the first person on the line              
 was Mr. Ray Zagorski, testifying from Kenai.                                  
                                                                               
 RAY ZAGORSKI, a faculty member at Kenai Peninsula College,                    
 testified that he feels the university must stop passing the buck.            
 Mr. Zagorski explained that he came to the university in March of             
 1994, under a tenure track appointment.  He came with teaching                
 experience from four other universities.  When he came, certain               
 promises were made to him as a tenure track faculty member, which             
 included an annual 3 percent cost of living increase.  He noted               
 that the university's actions are negatively impacting on faculty             
 morale.  Mr. Zagorski reiterated that faculty should receive the              
 compensation they are entitled to, under the terms of their                   
 collective bargaining agreement.                                              
                                                                               
 Number 1511                                                                   
                                                                               
 DAYNE CLARK, testifying via teleconference from Kenai, stated that            
 he is the Kenai campus faculty representative for ACCFT.  Mr. Clark           
 emphasized that the university knew the consequences of failing to            
 honor the ACCFT's contract, and stated it is his feeling that the             
 university is playing games, and trying to get rid of the union.              
 He urged the committee to pass HR 12, so that the university would            
 be encouraged to honor its contract, and faculty could go back to             
 concentrating on teaching.                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 1566                                                                   
                                                                               
 PHILIP SLATTERY, Sitka campus representative for the ACCFT,                   
 testified via teleconference from Sitka.  He stated that nine                 
 faculty members on the Sitka campus are represented by the ACCFT.             
 Mr. Slattery concurred with previous testimony.  He pointed out               
 that in the arbitration which resulted in the pay increase, the               
 university won on three other items.  The university was pleased to           
 accept the arbitrator's decision on those items.  Yet, they refuse            
 to honor the faculty pay increase.  Mr. Slattery explained that he            
 has been with the university for 22 years, and that this type of              
 difficulty has been ongoing.                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 1652                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHARLES WADE, Professor of Applied Business with the University of            
 Alaska Kuskokwim Community Campus, testified via teleconference               
 from Bethel.  He expressed his frustration with the university                
 administration, a frustration which he believes is shared by all              
 the faculty at the Bethel campus.  These faculty entered into a               
 negotiated contract with the university.  Faculty have upheld their           
 part of the bargain, and the university hasn't.  Mr. Wade stated it           
 has been his experience, over his 19-year association with the                
 university, that this type of behavior is not unusual.  He asked              
 the committee to help the university do the right thing, by passing           
 HR 12 out of the committee.                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 1715                                                                   
                                                                               
 JOLI MORGAN, Professor of Applied Business with the University of             
 Alaska Kuskokwim Community Campus, testified via teleconference               
 from Bethel.  He stated that he has been with the university since            
 1976.  Professor Morgan noted that other countries, such as Japan,            
 have learned from their management-labor strife.  In Japan,                   
 management and labor now share a common goal:  the success of the             
 enterprise.  Refusal to learn this simple lesson has made the                 
 United States not number one, but number ten.  Professor Morgan               
 asserted that today's hearing bears witness to this fact.  Rather             
 than spending his time developing lesson plans, teaching courses,             
 and advising students, he has had to siphon time from his duties in           
 order to testify.  The university broke its contract with the                 
 union, which resulted in both sides agreeing to binding                       
 arbitration.  At the arbitration hearing, the university won three            
 decisions but lost on one--the 3 percent raise.  Yet, the                     
 university has not honored the arbitration award.  Article 4 of the           
 ACCFT's negotiated contract states, "The decision of the arbitrator           
 shall be final, and the parties shall abide by it."                           
 PROFESSOR MORGAN further stated that HR 12 asks the legislature, as           
 representatives of the people, to tell the university to act in a             
 responsible manner, to honor its contracts, and to abide by the               
 arbitrator's decision.  He urged the committee to support HR 12.              
                                                                               
 Number 1800                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT noted the presence in the committee room of                     
 Representative Bill Williams, prime sponsor of HR 12.  He then                
 announced that the committee would hear from Bill Jermain.                    
                                                                               
 WILLIAM K. JERMAIN, attorney for ACCFT Local 2404, stated that he             
 has represented the ACCFT for 22 years.  He further stated that HR            
 12 is a rare opportunity for the legislature to express its own               
 statement of intent, as opposed to having its intent interpreted by           
 the courts.  The resolution deals with a fairly narrow issue.  The            
 University of Alaska has taken the position that unless the                   
 legislature specifically appropriates funds to pay its obligations            
 under collective bargaining agreements, then it will not pay them,            
 no matter how much money the legislature may appropriate for                  
 personal services, or other items that would cover the negotiated             
 amounts.  At the same time, the university has taken the position             
 that it will pay any type of increase for any of the non-                     
 represented faculty, without having any expression of legislative             
 intent.                                                                       
                                                                               
 MR. JERMAIN further stated that the university interprets the                 
 Public Employee Relations Act (PERA) to restrict its ability to               
 meet the obligations that it has agreed to at the collective                  
 bargaining table; in this case, an obligation that the legislature            
 approved as early as 1992.  Mr. Jermain explained that he is well             
 aware of the history of PERA.  As Deputy Commissioner of Labor from           
 1967 to 1970, he helped draft the first PERA legislation, which               
 became law in 1972.  He believes that it is not PERA's intent to              
 discourage collective bargaining.  It is also not the intent of the           
 law to have employers fail to honor their obligations.                        
                                                                               
 MR. JERMAIN asserted that the university's position has been that             
 it will honor obligations arbitrated in its favor, but that it will           
 not honor its obligations under general funds or personal service             
 funds for pay increases.  This is totally incompatible with the               
 purpose of PERA and collective bargaining agreements.  HR 12 only             
 addresses the university's responsibility to honor its obligations            
 under a collective bargaining agreement.  Mr. Jermain further                 
 stated that HR 12 is based on the opinion of Teresa Cramer.  The              
 resolution does not interfere with the separation of powers.  The             
 legislature has the power to reject contracts, but it has not done            
 so in this case.  By failing to honor its fiscal responsibility,              
 the university has passed the buck to the legislature.                        
                                                                               
 Number 2015                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA thanked Mr. Jermain for his testimony.                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked about the status of the lawsuit.                
                                                                               
 MR. JERMAIN responded that two suits have been filed.  One was                
 filed by the Classified Employees' Association, against the                   
 University of Alaska.  The other suit was filed by the Alaska                 
 Community College Federation of Teachers Local 2404 against the               
 University of Alaska.  Both suits are in the preliminary stages.              
 Mr. Jermain further explained that both lawsuits address                      
 constitutional issues regarding university obligations.  The ACCFT            
 lawsuit also addresses the arbitration award, which is a different            
 issue than what is contained in HR 12.  He emphasized that the                
 courts will attempt to determine legislative intent, and that HR 12           
 provides an opportunity for the legislature to express its intent             
 with regard to the obligation.                                                
                                                                               
 Number 2026                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG noted that the resolution does speak to the           
 arbitration.                                                                  
                                                                               
 MR. JERMAIN replied that the university did not appeal the                    
 arbitrator's award.  Therefore, the union is now attempting to                
 enforce that award.  That is one aspect of the litigation.                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT called on the next witness, Dave Dau.                           
                                                                               
 Number 2148                                                                   
                                                                               
 DAVE DAU, Treasurer of the ACCFT and Professor of Psychology at the           
 University of Alaska Anchorage, testified via teleconference from             
 Anchorage.  He noted that during the House HESS Committee hearings,           
 he had heard University Vice President Wendy Redman testify that              
 the university does not like HR 12 because it bypasses the                    
 collective bargaining process.  Professor Dau noted that the                  
 hearing was being held only because the university has violated a             
 collective bargaining agreement, and has refused to honor the award           
 of an arbitrator in binding arbitration.  The university has                  
 consistently demonstrated callous disregard for the collective                
 bargaining process.  Professor Dau urged the committee's support              
 for HR 12.  He emphasized that HR 12 asks for no new appropriation            
 from the legislature.                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 2215                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced that the next witness would be George                 
 Guthridge, testifying via teleconference from Dillingham.                     
                                                                               
 GEORGE GUTHRIDGE, Associate Professor of English at the Dillingham            
 Community Campus, testified in support of HR 12.  He stated that              
 the university has a long history of picking and choosing what it             
 will and won't pay, and obscuring that fact with a lot of rhetoric.           
 Litigation will only add more costs, and will result in the                   
 university having to ask the legislature for additional money.                
 Professor Guthridge emphasized that the university has a legal and            
 moral obligation to meet its contractual responsibilities.                    
                                                                               
 Number 2273                                                                   
                                                                               
 ROE THOMAS, Chairman of the Ketchikan Central Labor Council,                  
 testified via teleconference from Ketchikan.  Mr. Thomas stated it            
 is unconscionable for the university regents not to honor a moral             
 and legal obligation to faculty members.                                      
                                                                               
 Number 2331                                                                   
                                                                               
 BOB WARNER, Associate Professor of Library Science, University of             
 Alaska Southeast, Ketchikan campus, testified via teleconference              
 from Ketchikan.  He stated that his major concern is the                      
 frustration, and the time lost from teaching to deal with this                
 matter.  Professor Warner thanked Representative Williams for                 
 bringing the matter to the attention of the legislature.                      
                                                                               
 PRISCILLA SCHULTE, Professor of Anthropology and Sociology and                
 Campus ACCFT representative at the University of Alaska Southeast             
 Ketchikan Campus, testified via teleconference from Ketchikan.                
 Professor Schulte urged the committee to support HR 12.  She                  
 emphasized that teachers want to spend their time teaching, and               
 find it very frustrating when their salary agreements are not                 
 honored.  When they are told that the university cannot honor its             
 agreements without direction from the legislature, they don't know            
 which way to turn.  Professor Schulte further testified that new              
 faculty coming into the system cannot understand why an agreement             
 is not an agreement.                                                          
                                                                               
 Number 2405                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if anyone else wished to testify regarding HR             
 12.                                                                           
                                                                               
 WENDY REDMAN, Vice President for Public Relations at the University           
 of Alaska, Fairbanks, testified via teleconference from Fairbanks.            
 Ms. Redman stated she is perplexed and somewhat incredulous over HR           
 12.  She has been with the university for 25 years, and has been              
 representing the university in Juneau for 20 years.  Ms. Redman               
 stated that HR 12 would set several precedents.  It is an                     
 intervention in the collective bargaining process, as well as an              
 intervention in an issue that is currently being litigated.  It               
 will cause significant budget reductions to the university's base             
 budget, and re-writes a legislative history.  Ms. Redman emphasized           
 that she wished to clarify several issues.  The arbitration award             
 did tell the university that it must pay the salary increase                  
 provided by the contract.  Provided by the contract is the relevant           
 phrase.  The collective bargaining contract states that                       
 compensation increases shall be subject to legislative                        
 appropriation.  It further states that any provision of the                   
 agreement requiring a legislative appropriation to permit its                 
 implementation will be subject to legislative approval.                       
                                                                               
 TAPE 96-29, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 0024                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. REDMAN further testified that the university has never taken an           
 issue which was turned down by the legislature and funded it                  
 internally.  The contract language is very clear, from the                    
 university's standpoint.  The Teresa Cramer memo dealt with the               
 issue of what exactly the legislature had to do to reject                     
 contracts, and the legislature specifically and deliberately failed           
 to fund legitimately negotiated collective bargaining agreements in           
 1995, including the university's.  The Cramer memo states that                
 failure to fund requires specific language.  However, the last                
 paragraph of that memo states, "If there were a monetary term of a            
 contract that required a separate appropriation, unrelated to other           
 budget items, then, given the language of AS 23.40, that monetary             
 term would be considered to have failed, unless the legislature               
 made an appropriation for that purpose.  However, I believe that is           
 an unlikely factual situation."  Ms. Redman asserted that is not,             
 in fact, how state contracts are written.  The university's                   
 contracts are written to require specific and separate                        
 appropriations.  That is what the legislature was acting on last              
 year when it failed to fund the university contract.  The                     
 university requested the money from the legislature, and the                  
 legislature failed to act.  Ms. Redman further noted that the                 
 fiscal note accompanying the current version of HR 12 was added at            
 her request.  If the legislature agrees that the university needs             
 to pay and honor its contracts, then it is incumbent upon the                 
 legislature to appropriate the necessary funds.  She also pointed             
 out that the legislature currently has before it FY 96 and FY 97              
 salary amounts for the ACCFT, and asked that the legislature also             
 fund those.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 0126                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked how much the university is spending to             
 litigate this issue.                                                          
                                                                               
 MS. REDMAN responded that she could not answer that question.                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON then asked if the university was out-sourcing            
 its legal services, or using in-house counsel.                                
                                                                               
 MS. REDMAN replied that the university is out-sourcing its legal              
 services on this issue.                                                       
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON commented that he would be interested in                 
 seeing a copy of that contract.                                               
                                                                               
 MS. REDMAN stated that she would be glad to provide one.                      
                                                                               
 Number 0156                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER asserted that the issue goes beyond               
 binding arbitration.  The real issue is legislative intent.  Based            
 upon what occurred last year, the legislature specifically rejected           
 certain contracts.  By omission, it specifically did not reject               
 other contracts, including the one before the committee.  He then             
 made a motion that HR 12 be passed from the committee with                    
 individual recommendations, and without the accompanying fiscal               
 note.                                                                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA asked Ms. Redman if binding arbitration was             
 supposed to prevent litigation.                                               
                                                                               
 MS. REDMAN responded that she could not recall a time in her 25               
 years at the university when it had not honored an arbitration                
 ruling.  This arbitration ruling states that the university will              
 pay the increase provided by the collective bargaining agreement.             
 The agreement outlines how the university obtains funds for pay               
 increases.  Ms. Redman further stated that she was at the House               
 Finance Committee meeting last year, when the issue was raised as             
 to whether specific language was needed to reject the university              
 contract.  At that time, the committee decided that specific                  
 language was not needed, because university contracts are clear on            
 the need for specific and separate appropriations.                            
                                                                               
 Number 0267                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA suggested a technical amendment to HR 12.  On           
 line 4, insert the words Alaska Community College between "the" and           
 "Federation".  Representative Kubina also suggested that the                  
 resolution should be moved out with a zero fiscal note, rather than           
 with no fiscal note, as suggested by Representative Porter.                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER withdrew his motion, so that the resolution             
 could be amended.                                                             
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced that there being no objection, the                    
 technical amendment to include the words "Alaska Community College"           
 was passed.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 0326                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER restated his motion, to move HR 12 as                   
 amended, with individual recommendations and a zero fiscal note,              
 out of the House Labor and Commerce Committee.                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG objected, for discussion purposes.  He                
 stated that the resolution does have fiscal ramifications.  He                
 asked, "Is this an attempt to bypass the Finance Committee?"                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER noted that he could not recall a resolution             
 ever having a fiscal note.  A resolution simply asks someone to do            
 something.  It does not mandate.                                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG noted that the resolution attempts to                 
 create gold out of paper.  The money has to come from somewhere.              
 The issue is, is it coming out of the university's appropriated               
 budget, or does it require a new appropriation?                               
                                                                               
 Number 0377                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON pointed out that the university budget is                
 handled much differently from agency budgets.  The legislature                
 appropriates a lump sum, and the board of regents allocates the               
 funds as they see fit.  He stated that, even though he is on the              
 university subcommittee, he does not know whether the university              
 president's salary has increased, for example, because the money is           
 not appropriated by position.  Therefore, although he would hate to           
 see it happen, there is nothing to stop the university from using             
 the financial resources which it has to absorb the costs of this              
 pay increase.  Representative Elton affirmed that his preference              
 would be to see the legislature do the right thing, and appropriate           
 the money to fund the pay increase.  Even if that doesn't happen,             
 however, a fiscal note is not needed.                                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG commented that the fiscal note is large               
 enough for him to feel concerned about by-passing it.                         
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT noted that on lines 9 - 12, the resolution states               
 that the legislature funded appropriations for salaries.                      
 Therefore, if you support the resolution, you cannot support a                
 fiscal note.                                                                  
                                                                               
 MS. REDMAN commented that the legislature funded only base                    
 salaries, and not a salary increase.                                          
                                                                               
 Number 0500                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA stated that last year, the legislature                  
 rejected some contracts.  Those contracts were then re-negotiated,            
 and are now before the legislature again.  That is not the case               
 with the ACCFT contract.  His understanding is that once contracts            
 are funded, they are approved.  The university then has a                     
 responsibility to live up to the contract.  The purpose of binding            
 arbitration is to avoid litigation, yet the arbitration still winds           
 up in court.                                                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG stated that the purpose of collective                 
 bargaining is to solve a conflict, not to lower costs.                        
 Number 0560                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if Representative Rokeberg maintained his                 
 objection.                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG replied he sensed it was the will of the              
 committee to move the resolution.  He stated for the record that he           
 would like to see the university revert to a community                        
 college/university system.  He then withdrew his objection.                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced that, there being no further objections, HR           
 12 as amended was passed out of the House Labor and Commerce                  
 Committee with individual recommendations and a zero fiscal note.             
                                                                               
 HB 432 - VETERINARY LICENSING                                               
                                                                               
 Number 0625                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced that the next order of business to come               
 before the House Labor and Commerce Committee was HOUSE BILL NO.              
 432, "An Act relating to the practice of veterinary medicine."                
                                                                               
 GEORGE DOZIER, staff to Chairman Kott, explained HB 432                       
 accomplishes three or four different goals.  He said it contains a            
 provision which prescribes the fraudulent use or procurement of a             
 veterinarian license.  It also prescribes the act of fraudulently             
 claiming to have such a license.  It makes it a unclassified                  
 misdemeanor with up to a $10,000 fine for violation of those                  
 provisions.  Mr. Dozier explained the second section of the bill              
 recognizes that at one time an organization used to give                      
 standardized tests.  That organization is no longer in existence.             
 It is now called something else and the test is also called                   
 something else.  It changes certain references to the licensure               
 provisions from the National Board of Veterinarian Examiners to the           
 National Board of Examination Committee.  The same thing is done              
 further on changing the old organization known as the American                
 Veterinarian Association's Educational Commission for Foreign                 
 Veterinarian Graduates to the National Board of Examination                   
 Committees Education Commission for foreign Veterinarian Graduates.           
 Mr. Dozier explained the bill also requires veterinary technicians            
 to be licensed and requires the board to promulgate regulations               
 concerning that licensure.                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 0723                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced that the first witness would be Dr. Dee               
 Thornell, testifying via teleconference from Anchorage.                       
                                                                               
 DEANNA J. THORNELL, of the Board of Veterinary Examiners, stated              
 that while current law makes it illegal to practice veterinary                
 medicine in the state without a license, no penalties are mandated.           
 HB 432 would mandate a $10,000 fine and imprisonment of up to one             
 year for a person found in violation of the licensing requirements.           
                                                                               
 Number 0850                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if all recommendations contained in HB 432 have           
 been approved by the Board of Veterinary Licensing.                           
                                                                               
 DR. THORNELL responded that they have.  She added that the change             
 related to licensing veterinary technicians is consistent with                
 every other state in the union.                                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON stated he was somewhat surprised that the                
 provisions for licensing veterinary technicians are to be                     
 supervised by the veterinary board.  This seems like having doctors           
 oversee licensing requirements for nurses.  He asked if this was a            
 common procedure.                                                             
                                                                               
 DR. THORNELL replied that it is consistent with the other states.             
 Also, it would not be financially feasible to create a separate               
 board for licensing veterinary technicians, because there are so              
 few in the state.  Some states do provide extra seats on the                  
 veterinary board for licensed technicians.                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON then asked if the cost of the licensing                  
 procedures for veterinary technicians would be borne by the                   
 veterinarians.                                                                
                                                                               
 DR. THORNELL responded that the technicians are already bearing the           
 cost of their own examinations.  In essence, the legislation only             
 changes the title from "registered veterinary technician" to                  
 "licensed veterinary technician."  All of the statutes are already            
 in place for registering veterinary technicians.                              
                                                                               
 Number 1016                                                                   
                                                                               
 CATHERINE REARDON, Director, Division of Occupational Licensing,              
 Department of Commerce and Economic Development, stated that she              
 was available to answer questions from the committee.                         
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced that, there being no questions or                     
 additional witnesses wishing to testify, public testimony on HB 432           
 was closed.                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG made a motion that HB 432, with individual            
 recommendations and attached zero fiscal note, be passed out of the           
 House Labor and Commerce Committee.                                           
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced that, there being no objections, HB 432               
 with individual recommendations and accompanying zero fiscal note             
 was passed out of the House Labor and Commerce Committee.                     
                                                                               
 ADJOURNMENT                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 1021                                                                   
                                                                               
 There being no further business to come before the House Labor and            
 Commerce Committee, CHAIRMAN KOTT adjourned the meeting at 4:24               
 p.m.                                                                          
                                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects