Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/08/1994 08:32 AM House FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
  HOUSE BILL NO. 457                                                           
       "An  Act making appropriations  to satisfy the monetary                 
       terms of  certain collective bargaining  agreements for                 
       certain public  safety employees under  an arbitrator's                 
       decision; and providing for an effective date."                         
  testified in support  of HB 457.  She explained  that HB 457                 
  is the  result of an arbitrator's finding.  The arbitrator's                 
  agreement resolves negotiations between  the state of Alaska                 
  and the Public Safety Employees Association (PSEA).                          
  Commissioner Usera provided members with a memorandum, dated                 
  2//07/94, enunciating typographical  errors contained in  HB
  457 (copy on file).                                                          
  Representative Martin asked for a separation of FY 94 and FY                 
  95 requested amounts.                                                        
  BUDGET, OFFICE OF  THE GOVERNOR provided members  with three                 
  charts summarizing PSEA  COLA provisions by year  (copies on                 
  file).   Commissioner  Usera reiterated  that  the  contract                 
  negotiation is retroactive.  The  contract will expire prior                 
  to January 1995.                                                             
  Mr. Spencer reviewed the breakdown of COLA expenses by year.                 
  He observed that the legislation does not break out FY 92 to                 
  FY  94  amounts.   Commissioner  Usera  emphasized  that the                 
  legislation  delineates  between  retroactive   amounts  and                 
  prospective FY 95  amounts.  Sections one and  three contain                 
  retroactive  appropriations.  Sections   2  and  4   contain                 
  prospective appropriations for FY 95.                                        
  In  response  to   a  question  by  Representative   Hanley,                 
  Commissioner Usera  explained that the retroactive raise was                 
  3.6  percent initiated in  FY 92.  There  is a COLA increase                 
  effective January 1, 1994.   A portion of the  COLA increase                 
  will be deposited  into the  Health and Welfare  Fund.   The                 
  portion deposited into the Health  and Welfare Trust will be                 
  continued forward for each succeeding  year of the contract.                 
  The health benefit level to the trust is increased from $385                 
  to $470 hundred dollars a month per employee.                                
  In  response  to  a  question   by  Representative  Navarre,                 
  Commissioner Usera reiterated that  the legislation was  the                 
  result  of arbitration.   She  added that 7  of the  last 11                 
  contracts of this bargaining unit have been resolved through                 
  arbitration.   She  noted  that the  Administration  prefers                 
  prospective contracts.   She  further explained  that a  one                 
  time lump sum payment  equal to 1.5 percent of  the calendar                 
  1994 regular wages for the bargaining unit is to be made  to                 
  the PSEA Health and Welfare Trust.                                           
  BRUCE LUDWIG, BUSINESS MANAGER, AFL-CIO  spoke in support of                 
  HB 457.  He emphasized  that the agreement is the result  of                 
  protracted negotiations.   He  maintained that  Alaska State                 
  Troopers,  Fish  and Wildlife  Officers  and Airport  Safety                 
  Officers paid their increased health costs from their wages,                 
  during  negotiations.   He noted that  PSEA lost  a floating                 
  holiday in the  negotiations.   He observed that  management                 
  gained  the  flexibly  to  schedule  officers  in  order  to                 
  minimize overtime.                                                           
  Representative  Brown asked  for  clarification of  criminal                 
  investigation indemnification of employees.                                  
  DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION discussed  provisions regarding                 
  the  indemnification  of employees.    He stressed  that the                 
  bargaining  unit has  had  an  indemnification provision  in                 
  cases where an employee may be charged  in a civil action if                 
  the action was taken  within the normal scope of  duties and                 
  Mr. Chance noted that the arbitrated contract states "if the                 
  member is charged criminally or is  the target of a criminal                 
  investigation for acts occurring during the course of his or                 
  her  employment,   the   member   shall   be   entitled   to                 
  reimbursement  of  reasonable cost  of  attorney fee  if the                 
  member  is  not  charged  or  is  acquitted.    Any  dispute                 
  regarding fees shall be submitted to  agreements arbitration                 
  In response to  a question by Co-Chair  Larson, Commissioner                 
  Usera did not think  that an officer who was  injured buying                 
  groceries on their way home would be eligible for  workman's                 
  HB 457 was HELD in Committee for further discussion.                         

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