Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/20/1993 08:00 AM House STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
  HB 148:  EXEMPT U OF AK FROM APA PROCEDURES                                  
  Number 053                                                                   
  LOIS FOSTER testified by teleconference from Ketchikan in                    
  opposition to HB 148, and said university employees had                      
  fought long and hard for grievance procedures.  She also                     
  said the University was spending money to rid itself of                      
  procedures to weaken employees, and noted that while the                     
  University is taking personnel cuts, it is increasing the                    
  size of its legal staff.                                                     
  Number 097                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY then called for a sponsor statement on HB
  Number 103                                                                   
  THERRIAULT, PRIME SPONSOR OF HB 148, joined the committee                    
  and read the sponsor's statement.  She stated the University                 
  was never intended to be covered by the provisions of the                    
  Alaska Statute creating the Administrative Procedures Act                    
  (APA).  She said the APA was not designed for student or                     
  employee grievances, but rather for citizens' grievances                     
  against boards and commissions.  She noted the University is                 
  spending a great deal of money defending itself needlessly                   
  against APA filings.                                                         
  Number 145                                                                   
  JAKE WARNER testified by teleconference from Mat-Su in                       
  opposition to HB 148, saying as a parent of two university                   
  students, he felt exempting the University from the APA                      
  would lessen the ability of students to be heard.  He stated                 
  the University would be given more power over the appeals                    
  process, and students would previously have had a much                       
  tougher time gaining access to grievance procedures prior to                 
  the APA's application to the University.                                     
  Number 192                                                                   
  TERRY BILL testified by teleconference from Ketchikan and                    
  opposed HB 148.  He stated the University could not be                       
  trusted to protect its employees without the APA.  He cited                  
  the McGrath v. University of Alaska and Odum v. University                   
  of Alaska cases as proof.  He also said the University's                     
  claim that the APA costs too much was irrelevant.                            
  Number 230                                                                   
  BRUCE LUDWIG, BUSINESS MANAGER FOR APEA/AFT testified in                     
  opposition to HB 148.  He stated the APA sets a standard of                  
  conduct for administrative employees who review the cases,                   
  and removing that standard could allow abuse.  He also said                  
  that without the APA in place, the only redress employees                    
  might have would be a court case, which for most employees                   
  is not practical because of the cost.                                        
  Number 267                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER was under the impression there were                     
  dual systems in place:  The University's original grievance                  
  procedure, and the APA.  She asked why.                                      
  MR. LUDWIG stated classified employees are not satisfied                     
  with the grievance system and said many felt they would not                  
  get their "day in court" without the APA.                                    
  Number 290                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked if the APA's procedures were tedious                    
  compared to the internal process.                                            
  MR. LUDWIG stated the APA process was fair but not tedious.                  
  Number 314                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated it seemed the APA gave employees a                     
  right to what amounted to a jury trial in front of a hearing                 
  MR. LUDWIG stated the APA does give employees the right to                   
  such a hearing, but that it rarely happens.  He said                         
  usually, administrators hear the grievance themselves or                     
  hand it off to another personnel officer to hear.                            
  Number 356                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER stated it seemed that employees'                        
  biggest concerns are who does the grievance hearings, and                    
  how the hearing is done.  She asked if there is a compromise                 
  possible for employees and the University to agree upon.                     
  MR. LUDWIG knew of no discussions on such a compromise.                      
  Number 383                                                                   
  UNIVERSITY SYSTEM joined the discussion in support of HB
  148. She stated Mr. Ludwig's group, APEA/AFT, was not a                      
  recognized bargaining unit for university employees, and                     
  they were only involved in early discussions with about 20                   
  mechanical employees in the system.  She went on to say that                 
  university employees have worked under the old grievance                     
  system for several years, and only after Judge Brian                         
  Shortell ordered the university to use the APA's procedures                  
  in the Odum case were they modified.                                         
  MS. REDMAN stated the University had no interest in                          
  dismantling the grievance procedure, but wanted to clarify                   
  the procedures as the Supreme Court later ordered in the                     
  Odum case.  She also stated the APA's procedures were costly                 
  to the University, and pointed out employers under the APA                   
  bear the entire cost of holding such hearings.  She said the                 
  APA was never intended for employees under the original                      
  intent of the statutes.                                                      
  Number 515                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER asked if HB 148 passed, what guarantee                  
  would be given to employees to have their grievances heard.                  
  Number 526                                                                   
  MS. REDMAN stated the University and the employees' assembly                 
  had been working on a grievance procedure for more than two                  
  years, and if that plan is adopted by the regents, the                       
  grievance procedure would likely return as written by the                    
  employees' assembly prior to the APA decision.                               
  Number 543                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER felt there were a number of employees                   
  who did not like the idea of returning to the old                            
  Number 553                                                                   
  MS. REDMAN stated the APA's procedures had been in effect                    
  for slightly more than two years, and she felt confident                     
  employees would return to the old procedures.                                
  Number 565                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY knew of no other employer who subscribed to                   
  the APA's style procedures, including the use of an outside                  
  hearing officer.                                                             
  Number 585                                                                   
  ASSEMBLY joined the committee to testify for HB 148.  She                    
  stated university employees are not represented by any                       
  union.  She said as president of the assembly, she went                      
  through every grievance procedure with every claimant, and                   
  knew the procedure well.  She said most of the time,                         
  problems are easily resolved even if an employee has a                       
  grievance.  She stated under the procedures, an employee's                   
  supervisor or the other party is usually called in, and the                  
  problem can usually be solved.                                               
  MS. CHANTRY said under this system, employees have had great                 
  success with grievances, and the system was working very                     
  well.  If HB 148 is passed, she said the assembly was                        
  prepared to devise and pass a formal hearing option for                      
  employees to pursue in place of the APA procedures.   She                    
  stated removing the APA from university procedures is                        
  fiscally wise in the face of budget restraints, and she                      
  urged the committee to pass the bill.                                        
  Number 674                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked when the assembly might move on such a                  
  procedure if HB 148 is passed.                                               
  Number 676                                                                   
  MS. CHANTRY stated the assembly would move quickly upon HB
  148's passage.                                                               
  Number 692                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER MOVED to AMEND HB 148 to make the                       
  resulting law effective when the assembly and then the                       
  regents adopt the plan.                                                      
  Number 696                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked if removing the APA from the                            
  University's procedures might have an effect elsewhere                       
  beside labor relations.                                                      
  TAPE 93-31, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
  MS. REDMAN replied, "It might."                                              
  Number 012                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY expressed concern that Representative Ulmer's                 
  proposed effective date might be too ambiguous.                              
  Number 028                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER stated it would not be a problem, since                 
  previous legislation tied effective dates to actions outside                 
  the legislature's control, such as appropriations.                           
  Number 46                                                                    
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY noted HB 148 does not apply to situations                     
  like receiving checks, and stated it could eventually                        
  involve labor groups and the National Labor Relations Board.                 
  Number 060                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER did not see the problem, since the                      
  University and the regents wanted it, and so did the                         
  Number 064                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG felt the standard effective date of 90                 
  days might be acceptable.                                                    
  Number 075                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER stated the 90 day limit might create a                  
  window between the abolition of the APA's procedures and the                 
  time when the new procedures are in place.                                   
  Number 121                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG stated the old procedures would be in                  
  place anyway, with the exception of the APA.                                 
  Number 132                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS was in favor of the amendment, and                   
  had no problem accommodating people nervous about the                        
  Number 145                                                                   
  MS. FISHER stated Representative Therriault would have no                    
  problem with the change in the effective date.                               
  Number 170                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT MOVED acceptance of the AMENDMENT.                       
  Number 192                                                                   
  The AMENDMENT to HB 148 PASSED by a 4-2 vote.                                
  Number 196                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT MOVED passage of HB 143, as amended.                     
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG OBJECTED.  HB 148, as amended, PASSED                  
  Number 199                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY noted the Committee Substitute to HB 148                      
  would be drawn up as amended and then moved.                                 
  Number 216                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG RESTATED his OBJECTION.                                
  Number 229                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY CHANGED his VOTE, which forced a tie.  HB
  148, as amended, was NOT MOVED from committee.                               

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