Legislature(1997 - 1998)

05/08/1997 02:10 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
  SENATE BILL 151                                                              
                                                                               
       "An  Act relating to public employment labor relations;                 
       relating  to  the protection  of  the rights  of public                 
       employees  under the  Public Employment  Relations Act;                 
       establishing     ethical     standards     for    union                 
       representatives of public  employees; and  establishing                 
       disclosure  requirements  for  public   employee  labor                 
       organizations."                                                         
                                                                               
  ART  CHANCE,   COUNSEL,  SENATE  FINANCE   COMMITTEE,  LABOR                 
  RELATIONS,  provided  a  sectional  analysis  of  the  major                 
  changes to the existing work draft for SB 151.                               
                                                                               
  Section #2 would  provide that the parties may not negotiate                 
  terms  contrary  to  a  statute except  if  such  terms  are                 
  specifically made subject to bargaining by the Act.                          
                                                                               
  Section  #3  would  provide  that  public  employers  retain                 
  managerial  rights and prerogatives  and that limitations on                 
  such rights are to be narrowly construed by arbitrators, the                 
                                                                               
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  labor relations agency and the courts.                                       
                                                                               
  Section #4  incorporated the  Alaska Labor  Relations Agency                 
  (ALRA) regulations  and decisions  regarding composition  of                 
  bargaining units  and would add definitions  of supervisory,                 
  confidential and  law enforcement  employees  based on  ALRA                 
  decisions.    It  also would  require  that  peace officers,                 
  including  Correctional   Officers,  must  be   in  separate                 
  bargaining unit from  employees who are not  peace officers.                 
  The provision would mirror the  National Guard Unit language                 
  in federal law.                                                              
                                                                               
  Representative J.  Davies questioned  the  rational used  to                 
  determine  that police  officers  and correctional  officers                 
  should be in  different bargaining units.   Mr. Chance noted                 
  that action  resulted from  union claims  in labor  relation                 
  agency hearings.                                                             
                                                                               
  Section #5 would reflect ALRA's decisions and federal law in                 
  permitting  public employers to challenge the composition of                 
  a bargaining unit and  to question the majority status  of a                 
  union.                                                                       
                                                                               
  Section  #6  would  require  the  ALRA  to  investigate  the                 
  propriety of a mutually recognized  bargaining unit upon the                 
  petition of an employee in that bargaining unit.                             
                                                                               
  Section #8  would make  it an  unfair labor  practice for  a                 
  public employer to contribute financial  or other support to                 
  a union  mirroring federal  law.   It would  allow a  public                 
  employer  to  confer with  its  employees over  work related                 
  matters  without incurring  unfair  labor practice  charges.                 
  Section   #8  would   also  eliminate   the  current   law's                 
  authorization of compulsory union membership while retaining                 
  the  authorization   for  compulsory  fees   for  collective                 
  bargaining  services.    It  would  prohibit  a  union  from                 
  involving   a  secondary  employer   in  a   labor  dispute,                 
  picketing,  boycotting  or  otherwise  interfering  with   a                 
  private employer as  the result of  a dispute with a  public                 
  employer.   It  would  prohibit  a  union from  charging  an                 
  unreasonable  service   fee   related   to   the   cost   of                 
  representation and would provide that  an employee may bring                 
  such charges  to the  ALRA.   Finally, it  would prohibit  a                 
  public employee union  and public employer from  agreeing to                 
  refrain from doing business with another employer.                           
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Therriault asked if Section  #8 would be similar to                 
  the system used by the National Education Association (NEA).                 
  Mr.  Chance  replied  that  it   would  require  a  separate                 
  accounting.                                                                  
                                                                               
  Section  #9 would  provide that  statements by  legislators,                 
                                                                               
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  judges and  certain municipal  officials may not  constitute                 
  unfair  labor  practices  so  long as  that  person  is  not                 
  specifically responsible for relations with employees.                       
                                                                               
  Section #12 would  narrow the scope of  employees prohibited                 
  from  striking  and  would,  thus,  be subject  to  interest                 
  arbitration.                                                                 
                                                                               
  Section #13 would narrow  the scope of employees who  can be                 
  enjoined  from  striking,  and  thus,  subject  to  interest                 
  arbitration.   It  would  add a  class  of residential  care                 
  employees to  reflect changes  in Pioneer  Home to  assisted                 
  living.   It would remove post-secondary education employees                 
  from this  class to a  class three employee,  mirroring K-12                 
  teachers and other school employees.                                         
                                                                               
  Section #14 would  reflect recent  court holding that  ferry                 
  system  employees  are  class  three  employees.   It  would                 
  provide  that an employee may  lawfully strike only after an                 
  impasse in bargaining.                                                       
                                                                               
  Section  #15  would provide  a  reliable means  of selecting                 
  arbitrators for interest arbitrations and would require that                 
  they have Alaska or Pacific Northwest experience.                            
                                                                               
  Section  #16 would  prohibit  agreements  longer than  three                 
  years  and automatic renewal clauses.  It would provide that                 
  employees may resort  to binding grievance arbitration  only                 
  under the terms of an agreement.  Section #16 would prohibit                 
  a  labor  organization  that  has  failed to  file  required                 
  financial  reports from  enforcing  an  agreement and  would                 
  require  that  the  ALRA, rather  than  the  Commissioner of                 
  Administration, promulgate  regulations governing  residency                 
  base pay differentials in  recognition of the fact  that the                 
  Public Employee Relations  Act (PERA) applies to  all public                 
  employers, not just the State.                                               
                                                                               
  Section  #19   would  establish  arbitrating   selection  of                 
  criteria for binding grievance arbitration and would require                 
  Alaska or Pacific Northwest experience.                                      
                                                                               
  Section   #20-#22   would  increase   Legislative  oversight                 
  authority over collective bargaining by:                                     
                                                                               
       *    Defining  monetary  terms  and  adding  terms                      
       which   address   extensions,   modifications  and                      
       interest for arbitrator's awards.                                       
                                                                               
       *    The   legislative   body   of   a   political                      
       subdivision  to review  and  approve the  monetary                      
       terms of an agreement.                                                  
                                                                               
                                                                               
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       *    Providing that no monetary  term is effective                      
       or enforceable  until approved by  the Legislature                      
       or   the   legislative   body   of   a   political                      
       subdivision.                                                            
                                                                               
       *    Requiring the parties to  resume negotiations                      
       in the event of disapproval.                                            
                                                                               
       *    Requiring the Commissioner  of Administration                      
       to report  all State  agreements, settlements  and                      
       arbitrators'  awards  costing  over  $10  thousand                      
       dollars to the Legislative  Budget and Audit (LBA)                      
       Committee for review.                                                   
                                                                               
       *    Requiring the Commissioner  of Administration                      
       to   report   all   agreements,  settlements   and                      
       arbitrators' awards that substantively  modify the                      
       reported terms to the Legislature for approval.                         
                                                                               
       *    Empowering   the   legislative    bodies   of                      
       political  subdivisions  to   promulgate  approval                      
       procedures.                                                             
                                                                               
  Section #23  would prohibit  irrevocable check-off  dues for                 
  periods longer than  one year  and would explicitly  provide                 
  that check-off  authorization must be voluntary  and renewed                 
  annually.                                                                    
                                                                               
  In response to Representative J. Davies' comment, Mr. Chance                 
  noted  that  an  ability  to stop  the  delaying  tactic was                 
  available and would  remain available  under the "refuse  to                 
  bargaining charge" in a  labor relations agency.  The  State                 
  could hear those  charges quite quickly.   Representative J.                 
  Davies pointed out  there have  been long term  negotiations                 
  and which were not heard quickly  because of an unfair labor                 
  practice.   He  asked if  during  the time  of negotiations,                 
  would there be a payment  of fees.  Mr. Chance  replied that                 
  would be determined by the parties.                                          
                                                                               
  (Tape Change HFC 97-131, Side 1).                                            
                                                                               
  Mr. Chance continued, Section #24  would prohibit check-offs                 
  from service fee payers outside the term of an agreement and                 
  would include the same irrevocability  provisions.  It would                 
  require  affirmative  notice  on  the  check-off  form  that                 
  employees not be required as a condition of employment to be                 
  or become a member  of the union or to  contribute financial                 
  support to its social, political and fraternal activities.                   
                                                                               
  Section #25 would clarify the definition of "monetary terms"                 
  to  include  changes  from  the  predecessor   agreement  or                 
  statutory  terms  which  would require  the  expenditure  of                 
                                                                               
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  public money  and would  exempt certain  types of  employees                 
  from the Act's coverage.                                                     
                                                                               
  The major  additions to  the Act  are modeled  on the  Taft-                 
  Hartley and Landrum-Griffin amendments to the National Labor                 
  Relations  Act.    These are  essentially  identical  to the                 
  requirements  imposed  on private  sector  unions bargaining                 
  under that Act.                                                              
                                                                               
  Section #27 would  articulate the rights of union members to                 
  participate democratically  in the operation  of the  union.                 
  It would require that service fee  payers be allowed to vote                 
  in  contract ratification  elections and other  elections or                 
  referendums  which  might  effect a  fee  payer's  terms and                 
  conditions of employment.  Also,  it would require that dues                 
  may  only  be  increased  in  a  democratic,  secret  ballot                 
  election.  The section would  prohibit union restrictions on                 
  member's right to sue the union  and to participate in other                 
  forms of adjudication.   Mr.  Chance concluded that  Section                 
  of their rights under this Act.                                              
                                                                               
  Article #4 would require public  employee unions to register                 
  with the Commissioner  of Labor  and report their  structure                 
  and finances.  It would require  annual financial reports by                 
  public employee  unions and  disclosure of  all expenditures                 
  made  for  the purpose  of  influencing  the  outcome of  an                 
  election.  It would require that such a report be maintained                 
  in the State and be  made available to members.  Article  #4                 
  would also provide that a labor organization comply with the                 
  reporting requirements by submitting a  copy of the decision                 
  or order with the Commissioner.                                              
                                                                               
  Article #5  would prohibit  certain financial  transactions,                 
  including  contribution  to  political   campaigns,  between                 
  officer, agents  and employees  of unions  and officers  and                 
  officials  of  public  employers  where  the  intent  is  to                 
  influence the exercise  to employees  of their rights  under                 
  the Act.                                                                     
                                                                               
  Section 23.40.410  would exempt attorney-client  and certain                 
  deliberative communications from reporting and disclosure.                   
                                                                               
  Section 23.40.420 would make reports a public record.                        
                                                                               
  Section  23.40.430   would  make   violation  of   reporting                 
  requirements a Class A misdemeanor.                                          
                                                                               
  Article #5  would prohibit  certain financial  transactions,                 
  including  contribution  to  political   campaigns,  between                 
  officers, agents and  employees of  unions and officers  and                 
  officials  of  public  employers  where  the  intent  is  to                 
                                                                               
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  influence the exercise  by employees  of their rights  under                 
  the Act.                                                                     
                                                                               
  Section 23.40.620 would provide an exemption form  reporting                 
  requirements for labor organizations that are subject to the                 
  federal Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act.                       
                                                                               
  Section   #30   would   repeal   all   pre-PERA   bargaining                 
  authorization.                                                               
                                                                               
  Section  #33 would  exempt  established bargaining  units in                 
  political  subdivision from  the bargaining  unit definition                 
  changes in Section #4.                                                       
                                                                               
  Representative Kelly questioned how the bill was formulated.                 
  Mr.  Chance  replied that  the  bill has  changed  from it's                 
  original form.   That type  of organization would  be exempt                 
  now except for providing a copy of their federal forms which                 
  would be addressed in Section #27 and Section 23.46.20.                      
                                                                               
  Representative Kelly referenced Section #23, and asked how a                 
  trade  union  currently would  address  the situation.   Mr.                 
  Chance advised that very few trade unions have a service fee                 
  arrangement.  They mostly have membership arrangements which                 
  is allowable under  the federal  law.  Representative  Kelly                 
  asked if an  employee had a member who was not forced to pay                 
  the  fee,  between  contracts, would  the  service  payer be                 
  exposed.   Mr.  Chance  explained that  in  the  process  an                 
  employer can not  direct-deal with an  employee who is in  a                 
  bargaining unit  and  who has  a  certified  representative.                 
  Also, all  mandatory terms must be maintained  at the status                 
  quo until such  time that there  is a valid stated  impasse.                 
  At impasse, all bets end regarding terms and conditions.                     
  Representative  Kelly  questioned the  State's  benefit with                 
  inclusion of that clause.   Mr. Chance stated that  it would                 
  guarantee that the parties negotiate a contract.                             
                                                                               
  JOHN YARBOR, CONSULTANT, ALASKA STATE EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION,                 
  JUNEAU, spoke in opposition to SB  151.  He pointed out that                 
  the State has had the same reporting requirements since  the                 
  late 1970's, and  that the  proposed legislation intends  to                 
  "correct".  He  questioned the  need to rewrite  PERA.   The                 
  legislation will  reduce an employees right both politically                 
  and for bargaining  in good faith.   He emphasized that  the                 
  legislation  treads  on individuals  rights.   It  will most                 
  certainly restrict correctional officers.                                    
                                                                               
  Representative Mulder pointed out that the legislation would                 
  allow a  choice in representation.  Mr.  Yarbor replied that                 
  Section #4 would dictate which employees could work together                 
  in   the  same  bargaining   unit.    Representative  Mulder                 
  respectfully disagreed.  He stated that there it is based on                 
                                                                               
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  logic and that there  is a community of interest  within the                 
  units that  deserve the opportunity  to have their  own unit                 
  and interest represented.                                                    
                                                                               
  Representative  J. Davies  asked if  problems have  resulted                 
  with  having  different classification  of  employees.   Mr.                 
  Yarbor commented that he represents  a specific community of                 
  interest and  that it would not be  prudent for the State to                 
  be bargaining with a  larger number of units.   Having three                 
  units within one union  makes for less expense to  the State                 
  and for the employee.                                                        
                                                                               
  In response  to Representative  Mulder's  query, Mr.  Yarbor                 
  commented that  there are no elections scheduled.  The Labor                 
  Relations  Board ruled  that correctional  officers  were an                 
  entity of their own and could,  therefore, bargain their own                 
  contract.   Since that ruling,  there has  been no  election                 
  scheduled by the Labor Relations Board.                                      
                                                                               
  Representative  Mulder suggested that at times ASEA develops                 
  a split personality.  He noted that correctional officers in                 
  his community have expressed frustration  with the fact that                 
  they have different  needs than  clerical workers and  would                 
  prefer to have their own voice.  He thought  the best public                 
  policy  decision  would  be  passage  of  the   legislation.                 
  Representative  J. Davies  countered  that  the best  public                 
  policy  would  be   the  one  that  would  allow   the  most                 
  flexibility, thus providing employees options.                               
                                                                               
  DON  ETHERIDGE,  REPRESENTATIVE  LOCAL  71,  JUNEAU,  voiced                 
  opposition to the proposed legislation.  He added that every                 
  labor organization  throughout the State  of Alaska  opposes                 
  the legislation.  He believed that the current system is not                 
  broken and should  not be fixed;  it is protected by  either                 
  the  federal government or by established  court cases.  The                 
  State should not be involved in union operations.                            
                                                                               
  Representative G.  Davis pointed  out that  there have  been                 
  several court cases which indicate a need for clarification.                 
  Mr. Etheridge  stated that those areas are  not the problem.                 
  He noted that  the good  parts of the  legislation have  not                 
  been included.                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative Mulder asked if there were  problems existing                 
  in the  bill which clarify what a union  is and does for the                 
  continued  purpose  of being  protected  through PERA.   Mr.                 
  Etheridge  replied  that  many  portions  of  the  bill  are                 
  included in  the union  by-laws.   He noted  that the  union                 
  council is currently  scrutinizing the prepared work  draft.                 
  Representative  Mulder  requested  that  those  findings  be                 
  submitted  to  the Legislature,  stressing  that it  was the                 
  legislative intent to create a good public policy.                           
                                                                               
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  ED FLANAGAN, DEPUTY COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, noted                 
  that the Department opposes the proposed legislation because                 
  it creates  a cumbersome  and unneeded  new bureaucracy  and                 
  will  disrupt  rather  than   improve  public  sector  labor                 
  relations in the State of Alaska.                                            
                                                                               
  The  so-called  "modernization"  is,  in  a large  part,  an                 
  adoption of provisions of two federal laws, the Taft-Hartley                 
  Act of 1947  and the  Landrum-Griffin Act of  1959, both  of                 
  which were extended at the time of PERA's enactment in 1972.                 
  The Department would submit  that the legislation understood                 
  the ramification of those provisions in PERA.                                
                                                                               
  Section #1 is  a declaration of  findings and purpose.   The                 
  Legislature finds that legislation is necessary to eliminate                 
  or  prevent  improper   practices  on  the  part   of  labor                 
  organizations,  public  employers   and  their  officers  or                 
  representatives.    He  pointed  out  that  in  four  public                 
  hearings in  three committees, the  only person to  speak in                 
  support of the bill was the paid consultant to the House and                 
  Senate Fiance Committees, and he did not provide evidence or                 
  documentation to support the findings.                                       
                                                                               
  Section  #2  would  add   a  fifth  "item  not   subject  to                 
  bargaining" which  would allow political  subdivisions under                 
  PERA to limit  the scope of collective bargaining  by merely                 
  passing an ordinance.                                                        
                                                                               
  Section #4 is the most  problematic section and would  allow                 
  individual employees to file grievances outside of the union                 
  process,  removing  the   "filtration"  of   non-meritorious                 
  complaints which the  union provides and would  increase the                 
  workload for public  employers.  It  would also explode  the                 
  current bargaining unit  system by prohibiting inclusion  of                 
  peace officers  and non-peace  officers and strike  eligible                 
  and non-strike  eligible employees  in the  same unit  which                 
  would result in  the State going from  nine bargaining units                 
  to twenty-one.                                                               
                                                                               
  Section #6 would allow a single  member of a bargaining unit                 
  or  the  union  representative of  which  was  recognized by                 
  consent to challenge,  the appropriateness  of the unit  and                 
  the majority status of the union.                                            
                                                                               
  Section  #8 would  remove from  PERA even  the  reference to                 
  allowing  parties   to  bargain   clauses  requiring   union                 
  membership as an  option or  alternative to "service  fees".                 
  It  also  includes  a  number   of  irrelevant  federal  law                 
  prohibitions on secondary boycotts, "hot cargo" clauses, and                 
  recognition or jurisdictional strikes.  Section #8 would put                 
  the  ALRA  rather  than  the  courts   in  the  business  of                 
                                                                               
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  adjudicating service fees  for "dissenters" who do  not wish                 
  to support the political, social, or fraternal activities of                 
  the union.                                                                   
                                                                               
  (Tape Change HFC 97-131, Side 2).                                            
                                                                               
  Mr. Flanagan  continued, Section  #9 could  be construed  to                 
  prohibit  "subcontracting  clauses"  in  the  public  sector                 
  agreements,   which  removes   a   "mandatory"  subject   of                 
  bargaining from the table.                                                   
                                                                               
  Sections #12, #13, and #14 would alter the current "classes"                 
  of  employees  with  regard  to  strike eligibility.    Many                 
  employees  in  institutions who  are  currently  barred from                 
  striking, such as food  service, maintenance and  custodial,                 
  administrative and non-licensed medical personnel, would now                 
  have the right to strike.                                                    
                                                                               
  Section #15 would limit  the "interest arbitrator" selection                 
  to members of Federal Mediation Conciliation Service (FMCS),                 
  precluding use of  arbitrators who are only  affiliated with                 
  American Arbitrators Association (AAA).                                      
                                                                               
  Section #16 would prohibit "automatic renewal" of agreements                 
  and  would presumably  prohibit  parties from  continuing to                 
  work under  the terms  of an  expired collective  bargaining                 
  agreement until  a  successor  agreement  is  negotiated,  a                 
  precess which can take  months or even years.   This section                 
  would terminate  the grievance  procedure during an  interim                 
  between  contracts  further  promoting  disharmonious  labor                 
  relations in direct contradiction to the declared purpose of                 
  PERA and the legislation.                                                    
                                                                               
  Mr. Flanagan explained  the difference  between Class I,  2,                 
  and 3  employees.   He pointed  out that  the public  sector                 
  employees  do not  have the  right  to strike  in forty-nine                 
  states; PERA allows for alternatives.  Class 1 employees are                 
  forbidden  from  striking  with an  alternative  of  binding                 
  arbitration.   Class  2 employees  have a  limited right  to                 
  strike and the employer can join the  strike if it is in the                 
  public's   best  interest.     Current  law   provides  some                 
  flexibility  of who  should be  able to  strike, while  this                 
  legislation would eliminate that right.                                      
                                                                               
  Section #17  would transfer responsibility  for establishing                 
  cost-of-living allowance (COLA)  for non-resident  employees                 
  from the Commissioner of Administration to ALRA.                             
                                                                               
  Section #19 would  prohibit parties from utilizing  American                 
  Arbitrator Association  (AAA) arbitrators and would make the                 
  arbitrator  awards under PERA  subject to the Administrative                 
  Procedures  Act   for  the   purpose  of   appeal,  thereby,                 
                                                                               
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  subjecting  all  awards to  court  review; current  law only                 
  allows  for appeal to the court  in the event of gross error                 
  or violation of public policy.  Increased  litigation is not                 
  in the best interest of either employers or employees.                       
                                                                               
  Sections #20-22  expands legislative review  and/or approval                 
  to include arbitration awards (both interest and grievance),                 
  contract   extensions   and   modifications.       Grievance                 
  arbitration   awards   interpret  and   enforce  contractual                 
  commitments  inherent  in negotiated  agreements  which have                 
  already been approved by the legislature.                                    
                                                                               
  Section #24  would end  service fee  payment by  non-members                 
  during  any  interim  between agreements.    In  addition to                 
  denying  funds  to  a  union at  the  time  when  collective                 
  bargaining expenditures are likely to be at their highest, a                 
  public employer wishing to break their  union could do so by                 
  protracting negotiations over a long period of time.                         
                                                                               
  Section  #25   would  exclude  temporary   or  non-permanent                 
  employees from the  definition of public employee,  thereby,                 
  denying  them  union  representation or  the  benefits  of a                 
  collective  bargaining  provision.    The  bill drafter  has                 
  stated that  the relationship  of these  employees, some  of                 
  whom work for the State or  political subdivisions for years                 
  before attaining permanent status to  the bargaining unit is                 
  "tangential".  The Department strongly disagrees.                            
                                                                               
  Section #27 adds new articles to PERA:                                       
                                                                               
       Article 3 goes beyond federal  law in giving non-member                 
       fee payers  a right  to vote  in contract  ratification                 
       elections or dues referendums.                                          
                                                                               
       Article 4 would  require extensive  reporting by  labor                 
       organizations to  the Commissioner of Labor of detailed                 
       information regarding all aspects of the organization's                 
       operations  and finances.    This  section allows  some                 
       exemptions  from  the   reporting  requirements  of  AS                 
       23.40.400 in which may rise issues of equal protection.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
       Article 6  contains the  fore-mentioned exemption  from                 
       reporting requirements  for unions  filing with  United                 
       States Department of Labor (USDOL) under LMRDA.                         
                                                                               
  Section #32 would grandfather existing political subdivision                 
  bargaining  units  from   the  fragmenting  effects.     The                 
  viability of this exemption in  future proceedings regarding                 
  unit  clarification or  challenges  is  unclear,  since  the                 
  Agency will presumably  be obliged to adhere  to the revised                 
  statute at that time.                                                        
                                                                               
                               17                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative J. Davies MOVED that work  draft, 0-LS0675\P,                 
  Cramer, 5/08/97, be the version before the Committee.  There                 
  being NO OBJECTION, it was adopted.                                          
                                                                               
  JIM SAMPSON, MAYOR, FAIRBANKS NORTH STAR BOROUGH, FAIRBANKS,                 
  noted that the  proposed legislation  would cause long  term                 
  disruptions in  labor/management negotiations.   He  pointed                 
  out that the North Star Borough has been subject to the laws                 
  of  PERA since  the legislation  was introduced  twenty-five                 
  years ago.                                                                   
                                                                               
  Mr. Sampson warned that there has not been enough discussion                 
  with  public employers  covered by  the proposed act.   Many                 
  political subdivisions are not informed  that this debate is                 
  occurring.  Mr. Sampson believed  that the legislation would                 
  cause excessive fragmentation in  the bargaining units which                 
  will  cause  serious  problems  for  labor relations.    The                 
  legislation stills allows filing  of grievances by employees                 
  without going through the bargaining representatives.  As an                 
  employer,  one  does  not  want  to  deal with  hundreds  of                 
  individuals,    but    rather   an    exclusive   bargaining                 
  representative.                                                              
                                                                               
  Mr. Sampson respectfully disagreed with some of the findings                 
  in  the  bill;  specifically, the  one  which  eliminates or                 
  prevent  proper  practices   for  public  employers.     The                 
  legislation  would  limit  the  labor   board's  ability  to                 
  classify employees under the act.                                            
                                                                               
  Representative Mulder  pointed out  that Section  17 of  the                 
  legislation reference to  the FMCS.   Mr. Sampson  explained                 
  that originally, the State of  Alaska did not have qualified                 
  and trained arbitrators.   That  was twenty-five years  ago.                 
  At  the current  time,  the State  does  have the  resources                 
  necessary for  qualified arbitrations to occur without going                 
  outside  to  the Pacific  Northwest.   Alaska  has  used the                 
  Federal Mediation  Conciliation  Services  (FMCS)  list  for                 
  years.  Better decisions  could be made by hiring  people in                 
  Alaska who understand the issues locally.  He noted that the                 
  American   Arbitrator  Association   (AAA)   would  be   his                 
  preference as they  understand our  issues.   Representative                 
  Mulder noted that the  intent of the legislation was  how to                 
  select an arbitrator.                                                        
                                                                               
  Mr. Sampson stated  that Section 14  does make reference  to                 
  AAA.  He reiterated that the problem that the State has  had                 
  is that they do not  use arbitrators who live in  Alaska and                 
  which results in  lost arbitrations.   Mr. Sampson  stressed                 
  that the proposed legislation was a full employment bill for                 
  outside arbitrators.                                                         
                                                                               
                                                                               
                               18                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative  J.  Davies questioned  the  financial impact                 
  that the legislation would have  on the municipalities.  Mr.                 
  Sampson   responded   that   the  smaller   unit   political                 
  subdivisions would have much more  work in retaining counsel                 
  and  arguing   clarification  petitions,  often   ending  in                 
  litigation in Supreme Court.                                                 
                                                                               
  Representative J.  Davies recommended that the Department of                 
  Community and Regional Affairs (DCRA)  develop a fiscal note                 
  on  the  proposed legislation.   He  knew  that a  number of                 
  municipalities were not aware of  discussion on the proposed                 
  legislation and that it would  have a significant impact  on                 
  them.                                                                        
                                                                               
  Representative Kelly asked  if there were any  advantages in                 
  the   proposed  legislation.     Mr.  Sampson  replied  "not                 
  particularly".                                                               
                                                                               
  MIKE  MCMULLEN,  PERSONNEL MANAGER,  DIVISION  OF PERSONNEL,                 
  DEPARTMENT OF  ADMINISTRATION, noted  that the  Department's                 
  fiscal  note  had  not  been  passed  to the  House  Finance                 
  Committee from the  Senate Body.   That fiscal note  remains                 
  unchanged  in  both versions  of the  bill  and needs  to be                 
  attached.                                                                    
                                                                               
  He explained  that a new  bargaining unit would  be created.                 
  Forming a bargaining unit results  in submitting a petition.                 
  The Public Safety  Association filed such a  petition during                 
  an  open  period choosing  separate  officers as  a separate                 
  bargaining  unit.   The  labor  relations agency  heard that                 
  request and decided  that the  correctional officers have  a                 
  separate community  of interest.  Until the question of what                 
  a  unit  is  can  be  resolved,  no  election  date  can  be                 
  established.                                                                 
                                                                               
  Representative  Mulder inquired  if those  costs  were being                 
  paid  by the Department.   Mr. McMullen explained that there                 
  has been a flood of grievances.  Representative Mulder asked                 
  if  Commissioner  Boyer  had  developed  a  cost  of  living                 
  allowance (COLA) in the past two  years.  Mr. McMullen noted                 
  that  the   legislation   which   passed   established   the                 
  definition.                                                                  
                                                                               
  Mr. McMullen commented  that Amendment  #1 would remove  the                 
  items from the  bill which would cause the  Department extra                 
  work and the need for the fiscal note.  [Copy on file].                      
                                                                               
  (Tape Change HFC 97-132, Side 1).                                            
                                                                               
  In  response to  Representative  Martin's comment  regarding                 
  arbitration  selection,  Mr.   McMullen  agreed  with  Mayor                 
  Sampson  that  Alaska has  a  core of  qualified arbitrators                 
                                                                               
                               19                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  developed  over the past twenty-five  years.  He pointed out                 
  that the State does use Alaska  arbitrators.  He agreed that                 
  at the present time, the State could  exclusively use Alaska                 
  arbitrators.  Representative Martin supported that change.                   
                                                                               
                                                                               
  SB  151   (FIN)am  was   HELD  in   Committee  for   further                 
  consideration.                                                               

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