Legislature(1993 - 1994)
11/03/1993 09:09 AM CRA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE COMMUNITY & REGIONAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE Eagle River, AK November 3, 1993 9:09 a.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Senator Randy Phillips, Chairman Senator Robin Taylor, Vice Chairman Senator Loren Leman Senator Al Adams Senator Fred Zharoff MEMBERS ABSENT None ALSO PRESENT Senator Tim Kelly Senator Steve Rieger Representative Ed Willis COMMITTEE CALENDAR SENATE BILL NO. 2 "An Act requiring pay equity for certain public employees and requiring the compensation of certain public employees based on the value of work performed." SENATE BILL NO. 203 "An Act requiring unified municipalities to provide police protection and law enforcement services; and providing for an effective date." PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION SB 2 - No previous action to record. SB 203 - No previous action to record. WITNESS REGISTER John Vezina, Staff to Senator Donley State Capitol Juneau, AK 99801-1182 Mike McMullen, Manager, System Services Division of Personnel/EEO Department of Administration P.O. Box 110201 Juneau, AK 99811-0201 Harriet M. Lawlor AK State Employees Association 3510 Spenard Road Anchorage, AK 99503 Teresa Anderson AK State Employees Association 1237 Kennicott Fairbanks, AK 99701 Patricia Jones AK State Employees Association P.O. Box 2296 Valdez, AK Alma Seward AK State Employees Association Juneau, AK Richard Seward AK State Employees Association 315 Barnett St., #104 Fairbanks, AK 99701 Kathy Dietrick AK State Employees Association 315 Barnett St., #104 Fairbanks, AK 99701 Ms. Kelly Brown 815 Austin Fairbanks, AK 99701 Jennie Day Peterson 3501 Spenard Road Anchorage, AK 99515 Josh Fink, Committee Aide Senate Labor & Commerce Committee State Capitol Juneau, AK 99801-1182 Duane Udland, Deputy Chief Anchorage Police Dept. Anchorage, AK Major Glen Godfrey, Deputy Director Alaska State Troopers 5700 E. Tudor Road Anchorage, AK 99507-1225 Mary Frohne 9921 Hillside Dr. Anchorage, AK 99516 Barbara Weinig P.O. Box 113849 Anchorage, AK 99511 Judy Moerlein Anchorage, AK Scott Brandt-Eareckson, Assistant Municipal Attorney Municipality of Anchorage P.O. Box 196650 Anchorage, AK 99519-6650 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 93-28, SIDE A Number 001 CHAIRMAN RANDY PHILLIPS called the Senate Community & Regional Affairs Committee meeting to order at 9:09, noting that Senators Taylor, Adams and Zharoff were participating via the teleconference network. He then introduced SB 2 (PAY EQUITY BASED ON VALUE OF WORK) as the first order of business. JOHN VEZINA, Aide to Senator Dave Donley, explained that SB 2, which is sponsored by Senator Donley, addresses the problem of pay inequities in state government with state employees, schools districts and rural attendance areas. It is a mechanism to put an end to discrimination in state employment, and it is modeled after legislation passed in Minnesota. Two studies in recent years have shown that women earn 33 percent less than men in jobs in state government. He pointed out that there is nothing in these studies indicating that the discrimination against women is purposeful. SB 2 calls for state agencies to conduct studies to see if there is indeed wage discrimination based on sex. If such a discrimination exists, the agencies would then formulate a program to correct the problem. Their recommendations would be presented to the Legislature to accept, reject or amend those recommendations. Mr. Vezina said Senator Donley firmly believes that the state is in danger of a lawsuit that would cost the state much more than it would to cost to implement this program. SENATOR ADAMS questioned if there would be any enforcement costs tied to this legislation. JOHN VEZINA answered that the only cost they know of would be the implementation of the study by the Department of Administration. SENATOR ADAMS asked if the committee has received a position paper from the Administration on SB 2. SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS responded that a position paper has been requested, but has not yet been received. It is his understanding that the Administration will be offering an alternative to the bill. MIKE MCMULLEN, Division of Personnel/EEO, Department of Administration, stated their belief in fair access to employment opportunity and equality between the sexes. The division voluntarily undertakes affirmative action plans to overcome problems, they operate with a classification that, by statute, is based on the principle of like pay for like work. Mr. McMullen said the department has some problems with the way SB 2 is written, and he directed attention to alternative bill and its attached fiscal note. Mr. McMullen outlined some specific areas of concern with SB 2: some classifications would be evaluated with a different system in only some of their classifications; the legislative review step if the new system is adopted; and the relationship of items in the bill with collective bargaining. SENATOR ADAMS said the Alaska Quantative Evaluation System (AQES) spent $500,000 in its preliminary stage in 1983 and now will spend another half a million dollars in FY 95 and FY 96. He asked if this will complete the project, and can it be done with existing staff. MIKE MCMULLEN answered that AQES was developed for the classified service, and the new legislation would require a system for the entire Executive Branch. That will include the five bargaining units which are in exempt service, as well as all of those other positions in the exempt and partially exempt service which are not covered in the initial study. Also, based on the time that has elapsed since the preliminary study, there is information that needs to be updated, as well as areas which weren't completed then and need to be completed now. He didn't think this could be done by internal staff only because the volume of additional information that they will need to gather will involve all of their existing staff plus the additional staff to get the study done in any reasonable period of time and still service essential needs in classification during the time this system is being developed. SENATOR ZHAROFF asked why it takes so many and so long to do it when this information should be available in the computer system. MIKE MCMULLEN answered that they have no comprehensive external salary data so that step needs to be completed. The other things that need to be done will be done with the state work force. With a system like this, every four or five years the employer needs to reevaluate their values because they change over time. The new legislation would require an entirely different classification system. JOHN VEZINA, responding to Mr. McMullen's comments on the legislation, said they used collective bargaining because Senator Donley believes that is the mechanism that the Legislature has set up for dealing with state employees. SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS stated the committee would take public testimony over the teleconference network. HARRIET LAWLOR, representing Alaska State Employees Association Local 52 in Anchorage, said Mr. McMullen's statement that there have been no problems with sex-based discrimination in the last couple of years is an inaccurate statement. She said has copies of two Human Rights Commission charges that have been filed based on sex discrimination, as well as copies of the state's own studies on under-utilized categories which have not been met. TERESA ANDERSON, a member of the Women's Committee of the Alaska State Employees Association testified from Fairbanks in support of SB 2. She said she thinks it would be wonderful if the State of Alaska could lead the way in pay equity instead of increasing the number of families that need public assistance. She said women are trying to provide for their families on wages that should be larger, that should be equal to those of male dominated jobs with comparable education, skills, effort, responsibility and work hazards. SENATOR LEMAN asked Ms. Anderson if she was suggesting that some of the people that are not getting enough pay from the State of Alaska are on public assistance, and, if so, does she know how many of them are. TERESA ANDERSON said she could not quote the number, but she thought that information could be obtained from the particular agencies. She added that Alaska is behind many other states in pay equity. PATRICIA JONES, Chair of the ASEA's Women's Issues Committee testifying from Valdez, said the state's current practice of gender biased wage discrimination affects her as well as all state employees in many ways. She said gender is a deciding factor for women on how much money they make and for others in female dominated job classes. She urged putting an end to the current practice of a state employee's monetary worth being tied to their gender, which she said is an unfair labor practice. ALMA SEWARD, former Chair of the Women's Issues of the Alaska State Employees Association Local 52 testifying from Juneau, said they have supported legislation over the past three years to go a pay equity study and implementation of corrections to the existing wage disparities. ASEA has done a preliminary analysis of Department of Administration figures and has consistently found inequities exist in salaries of female dominated job classes. She also spoke to the expense to the state and to employee morale if lawsuits are filed. She urged support of the legislation, which she said will benefit the State of Alaska substantially. RICHARD SEWARD, Business Agent, Alaska State Employee Association Local 52, testifying from Fairbanks, pointed out that it is illegal under the Federal 1963 Equal Pay Act to reduce any worker's pay in order to fix pay inequities by reducing the pay in the male dominated classes. He also pointed out that the 1984 to 1986 classification study was not a comparable worth study, and he said it won't help fix comparable work equity in Alaska. Addressing the alternative legislation being proposed by the Administration, Mr. Seward said that to take collective bargaining away from this issue does everybody in Alaska a disservice. ASEA believes that the working people in Alaska have a great deal of knowledge on the job classification system and a good sense of what is fair and equitable. He added they are willing to bring their resources to this issue to help resolve it, and they hope that SB 2 maintains the right of collective bargaining. Mr. Seward quoted numerous statistics from a study he conducted earlier this year on the State of Alaska job classes. TAPE 93-28, SIDE B Mr. Seward said his study was not a comparable worth study; the study just shows that there is a definite problem in the current classification system. The job class are segregated by sex; the employees are segregated by sex into those job classes. If a large number of employees in a job are female, they are going to make less than men irregardless of the level of education required for the job. Concluding his testimony, Mr. Seward stated the union remains ready to negotiate comparable worth pay equity study and implementation to the state, and they remain ready to work with the Legislature. KATHY DIETRICH, Business Agent, Alaska State Employees Association, testifying from Fairbanks, stated there are many women and fair-minded men who feel very strongly on this issue. She spoke to the need for establishing equitable compensation relationships between female dominated job classes and male dominated job classes. She urged passage of SB 2. KELLY BROWN, a member of the Alaska State Employees Association and Chair of the Alaska AFL/CIO Women's Committee testifying from Fairbanks, stated that last January the Alaska AFL/CIO delegates listed pay equity as a legislative goal that they would like to see in 1993. She said there is a proven pattern in the history of the work force which shows that as more and more women enter into a job class, a lesser value is then placed on that job class. She urged passage of SB 2. MIKE MCMULLEN responded to several issues brought up by the previous witnesses, as well as questions from the committee members. JENNIE DAY PETERSON, Business Manager, Alaska State Employees Association, testifying from Anchorage, said Mr. McMullen indicated that the Department of Labor gender gap report was conducted by ASEA members. However, that report was done by Department of Labor employees who happen to be ASEA members, and she said his comment was misleading and unfair. There being no further witnesses wishing to testify on SB 2, SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS stated that the bill would be back before the committee for its consideration after the session reconvenes in January. TAPE 93-29, SIDE A SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS introduced SB 203 (MANDATORY MUNICIPAL POLICE SERVICES) as the next order of business. JOSH FINK, committee aide, Senate Labor & Commerce Committee, stated SB 203 was introduced by the committee at the request of the Municipality of Anchorage. It will require unified municipalities to provide law enforcement services on an areawide basis. There are three unified municipalities in Alaska: Anchorage, Juneau and Sitka. Both Juneau and Sitka currently provide areawide police coverage. The Municipality of Anchorage provides police service to approximately 80 percent of the city. Hillside and some other portions of Anchorage have repeatedly rejected paying for police coverage. The current system on the Hillside in which police officers respond to a call only if there is a car available does not provide sufficient protection to the hundreds of residents, teachers and students in that area. If enacted, SB 203 would override any municipal charter prohibition or local area vote. Mr. Fink noted there was a draft committee substitute for the committee's consideration to address the concern that the original bill did not contain a mechanism to fund the new officers that would be required in the new areas served. It would allow for the mill rate being adjusted in the new service areas to cover the additional cost. DUANE UDLAND, Deputy Chief, Anchorage Police Department, noted the city administration's support for SB 203. Deputy Chief Udland said that from his own personal perspective, it is a question of equity. At one time he lived on the Hillside and he felt it was odd that he lived in probably the richest area in town and yet he was receiving free police service. Deputy Chief Udland said things have changed, and it is at a point now where having areawide police service makes a lot of sense. He added that the State Troopers and the Anchorage Police Department do an excellent job on the Hillside, and it really isn't an issue of who does the better job; it is an issue of taxes. Right now, residents of the Hillside don't have to pay for the service. SENATOR ADAMS referred to Section 4 in the draft committee substitute and asked if that transition section was necessary. He suggested eliminating it, and if the legislation passes, the Act take effect July 1, 1994 versus waiting until January 1, 1995. DEPUTY CHIEF UDLAND answered that he thought a transition period was needed because there is a lag time for the department to hire new people and get them into place. SENATOR LEMAN requested information be provided to the committee on what areas are providing police protection. MAJOR GLEN GODFREY, Deputy Director, Alaska State Troopers, stated the Department of Public Safety's and the Division of Alaska State Troopers' support for SB 203. Major Godfrey pointed out that Juneau and Sitka have been successful in doing this type of enforcement, and it has relieved the Division of Alaska State Troopers from that type of duties, allowing them to concentrate on their primary duties such as highway patrol, traffic investigation, statewide search and rescue, and providing support to rural areas and to the statewide Village Safety Officer program. Currently, there are 259 positions in the Division of Alaska State Troopers, of which 27 are vacant. There will be a class graduating from the Alaska State Trooper Academy next month and they will be filling in their vacancies with those new troopers. MARY FROHNE, representing the Hillside East Community Council in Anchorage, stated the Hillside residents are not against paying their fair share for police protection. She said they have been served well in the past by the Alaska State Troopers. Ms. Frohne said to override the provision in their charter, which gives them the ability to vote on what services they should receive in the Hillside area, is not a good policy. She said if they were given the choice of being served by either the Alaska State Troopers or the Anchorage Police Department they would probably select the troopers. If they were forced to vote on the city police, it would probably fail again. BARBARA WEINIG, President of the Rabbit Creek Council in Anchorage, stated that when unification came about, the service area concept and being able to choose what services you wanted was very important, and it is still extremely important to her area. She believes it is a bad precedent for the state to enact legislation that would override local charters. She also voiced their willingness to pay for State Trooper services. Responding to questions from Ms. Weinig, MAJOR GODFREY said at this point in time, they plan on keeping their trooper stationed in Girdwood, specifically for highway patrol and traffic enforcement. In the last year, there have been eight traffic fatalities on that stretch of highway. SCOTT BRANDT- EARECKSON, an assistant municipal attorney, said the troopers currently have jurisdiction within the Chugach State Park area, and he believes that with the passage of the legislation they would retain that jurisdiction. SENATOR KELLY said he has talked to several people on the Hillside and one of their big complaints was that they had to pay a higher mill rate in that area. He asked if there were different mill rates in various sections of the municipality for police protection. SCOTT BRANDT-EARECKSON answered that within a particular service area where the service is being provided, the mill rate is uniform. Different sections of town have different mill rates based upon different services that they receive. The budget director for the Municipality of Anchorage, clarified that if the Hillside were to come in everybody would be paying the same amount for police protection. JUDY MOERLEIN, President, Home and Landowners' Organization, Inc., said they have found that the people are not unwilling to pay their fair share for police protection, but they feel that the troopers have a certain ability to handle more rural situations. SENATOR RIEGER commented that he thinks the feeling in South Anchorage is that they've never had a chance to really express in a vote what they would like to see. They've had proposals put before them which are not acceptable, and when they get turned down, it gets distorted into being a perception that there is an unwillingness to pay. He added that he thought that any reasonable proposal which regarded trooper coverage would be passed overwhelmingly by these people. SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS pointed out that Eagle River is probably more rural in nature than the Hillside area, but several years ago they voted to pay for police protection in Eagle River. He said the sentiment of his constituents is that the Hillside should be paying for police protection, and sooner or later this issue is going to have to be resolved. TAPE 93-29, SIDE B BARBARA WEINIG said that during all of the talks and hearings that they had on this issue, prior to even the task force being formed, one of the things that came to light was that the Municipality of Anchorage was charging Southeast Anchorage for a level of service that they couldn't provide, and that the level of service they could provide would be in response to incidents level because there was no way of effectively patrolling many of the roads in Southeast Anchorage. She reiterated that the people felt that the troopers could provide a better level of service and they were willing to contract and pay for that service. PATTY SWENSON, Staff to Representative Con Bunde in Anchorage, asked if under SB 203 the Hillside residents will be able to pay for just the services they receive. The budget director for the Municipality of Anchorage answered that property taxes do discriminate; they discriminate on the basis of value, so the people in higher assessed valuation areas, such as the Hillside, do pay more for the services they receive. SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asked if there is anything being done right now for a ballot proposition for self-determination on the question. JUDY MORELINE answered that there isn't at this time, but that they are trying to find the mode which will most expeditiously accomplish a State Trooper agreement between them and those people who have said that they want to pay for that service. SENATOR KELLY asked if a fiscal note has been provided by the Division of State Troopers on what it would it cost them to adequately police the Hillside area. MAJOR GODFREY responded that he has not seen one, and Senator Kelly requested that a fiscal note be provided. There being no further witnesses present to testify on SB 203, SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS adjourned the meeting at 1:09 p.m.