Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/08/1994 08:32 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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                     HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                          March 8, 1994                                        
                            8:37 a.m.                                          
                                                                               
  TAPE HFC 94-51, Side 1, #000 - end.                                          
                                                                               
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson called the House  Finance Committee to order                 
  at 8:37 a.m.                                                                 
                                                                               
  PRESENT                                                                      
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson                                                              
  Co-Chair MacLean            Representative Martin                            
  Vice-Chair Hanley           Representative Navarre                           
  Representative Brown        Representative Therriault                        
  Representative Foster                                                        
  Representative Grussendorf                                                   
                                                                               
  Representative Hoffman and Parnell were  not present for the                 
  meeting.                                                                     
                                                                               
  ALSO PRESENT                                                                 
                                                                               
  Representative Pat  Carney;  Dan  Spencer,  Fiscal  Analyst,                 
  Office of  Management and  Budget, Office  of the  Governor;                 
  Bruce  Ludwig,  Business  Manager,  Alaska Public  Employees                 
  Association;  Eric  Leegard,   Alaska  Community   Colleges'                 
  Federation  of  Teachers;  Nancy  Bear-Usera,  Commissioner,                 
  Department  of  Administration;  Alison  Elgee, Director  of                 
  Budget, University  of Alaska; Art  Chance, Labor Relations,                 
  Division of Personnel, Department of Administration.                         
                                                                               
  SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                          
                                                                               
  HB 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."                                                
                                                                               
            HB  457   was  HELD   in  Committee  for   further                 
            discussion.                                                        
                                                                               
  HB 510    "An  Act  making  appropriations  to  satisfy  the                 
            agreed-upon   monetary   terms  of   a  collective                 
            bargaining agreement for  certain employees of the                 
            University  of  Alaska;   and  providing  for   an                 
            effective date."                                                   
                                                                               
            HB  510   was  HELD   in  Committee   for  further                 
                                                                               
                                1                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
            discussion.                                                        
  hb#510                                                                       
  HOUSE BILL NO. 510                                                           
                                                                               
       "An  Act   making   appropriations   to   satisfy   the                 
       agreed-upon monetary  terms of a  collective bargaining                 
       agreement for certain  employees of  the University  of                 
       Alaska; and providing for an effective date."                           
                                                                               
  ALISON  ELGEE,  DIRECTOR  OF BUDGET,  UNIVERSITY  OF  ALASKA                 
  testified  in  support  of  HB  510.   She  noted  that  the                 
  legislation  makes  an  appropriation  to  fund  the  Alaska                 
  Community   Colleges'   Federation   of   Teachers   (ACCFT)                 
  bargaining  unit  contract.   She  stated that  according to                 
  their  current contract  the Administration  is  mandated to                 
  offer, to the  ACCFT bargaining unit, the  same compensation                 
  increases offered to  non union employees of  the University                 
  of  Alaska.   She  pointed  out  that the  COLA  increase is                 
  subject to appropriation by the Legislature, under the terms                 
  of the contract.                                                             
                                                                               
  Ms. Elgee reviewed sections one and  two of HB 510.  Section                 
  one  appropriates  a 3  percent  increase for  union faculty                 
  members granted by  the Board of Regents,  effective January                 
  1, 1994 through the remainder of  fiscal year 1994.  Section                 
  two carries the cost of the FY 94 increase into FY 95.                       
                                                                               
  Representative Martin pointed  out that  cost increases  are                 
  taken within the  budget already  allocated.  He  maintained                 
  that the pay raises should be taken within the system.   Ms.                 
  Alison clarified  that the  3 percent  increase approved  in                 
  January  1994, was  an  across  the  board  increase.    She                 
  expressed doubt that the University will implement an across                 
  the board increase in the future.                                            
                                                                               
  In  response  to a  question  by Representative  Martin, Ms.                 
  Elgee elucidated  that  the legislation  will  increase  the                 
  University's  FY  94 appropriation.    She pointed  out that                 
  under the terms of the contract the  University is incumbent                 
  to request the increase from the Legislature.                                
                                                                               
  Representative Brown asked  for further clarification.   Ms.                 
  Elgee  stressed  that  the  contract   states  that:    "The                 
  University  agrees  to  request  the  same level  of  salary                 
  increase  for  Faculty  Members  as   is  requested  of  the                 
  Legislature for other University employees."  She noted that                 
  if the University does not  receive an appropriation to fund                 
  salary increases  the University  is directed  to request  a                 
  supplemental.                                                                
                                                                               
  Representative Brown queried  how the cost increase  for non                 
  union personnel is being  met.  Ms. Elgee observed  that the                 
                                                                               
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  University will have  to reallocate funds to  meet increased                 
  costs  of  non   union  personnel.     She  explained   that                 
  legislative   action   on  the   appropriations  constitutes                 
  ratification of the union monetary terms.  She observed that                 
  eligibility of union members  is under dispute.  Faculty  in                 
  extended sites  are union members.   Faculty in  other sites                 
  are comprised of non union and union members.                                
                                                                               
  Representative   Navarre   questioned  if   the  Legislature                 
  partially  funded  the  increase  by  approving  the  FY  94                 
  portion, would  their action constitute  ratification of the                 
  contract.  He surmised that the FY 95 increase could then be                 
  reallocated.   Ms. Elgee thought that Representative Navarre                 
  would be correct if the legislative intent was clear.                        
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson referred  to Article  12, section  B of  the                 
  contract (copy on file).  He asked for further definition of                 
  legislative  action.    Ms.  Elgee  interpreted  legislative                 
  action to mean a positive action on the appropriation.                       
                                                                               
  In  response  to a  question  by Representative  Hanley, Ms.                 
  Elgee observed that non union employees received a pay raise                 
  effective January 1, 1994.                                                   
                                                                               
  BRUCE  LUDWIG,  BUSINESS  MANAGER,  ALASKA PUBLIC  EMPLOYEES                 
  ASSOCIATION spoke in support of HB  510.  He emphasized that                 
  most  other  university   employees  received  the  increase                 
  January 1, 1994.  He maintained that bargaining law requires                 
  that any  monetary terms are  subject to appropriation.   He                 
  stressed that the terms are void absent an appropriation.                    
                                                                               
  ERIC  LEEGARD,  ALASKA  COMMUNITY  COLLEGES'  FEDERATION  OF                 
  TEACHERS spoke in  support of HB 510.  He  detailed his work                 
  history  at  the  University  of   Alaska,  Southeast.    He                 
  emphasized  that  the contract  represents equity  for union                 
  employees.    He  stressed  that   the  3  percent  increase                 
  represents contract maintenance and is "not above and beyond                 
  any great monetary strides we have made over the last year."                 
  He discussed the lack of pay raises for union employees over                 
  the past six years.                                                          
                                                                               
  In  response  to a  question  by Representative  Martin, Ms.                 
  Elgee clarified that the University's request of funding for                 
  graduate  students  attending  the  University  of   Alaska,                 
  Anchorage was not approved by the  Governor.  The request is                 
  not included in any legislation before the Legislature.                      
                                                                               
  Representative Hanley queried the correlation of pay between                 
  union  and non  union faculty members.   Ms.  Elgee observed                 
  that there is no consistency in  pay for either union or non                 
  union faculty members with equivalent work experience.                       
                                                                               
                                                                               
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  In  response to  a question  by Co-Chair  Larson,  Ms. Elgee                 
  clarified that  the legislation  does not  effect part  time                 
  adjunct teachers.   It was established that  Co-Chair Larson                 
  did not have a conflict of interest as a adjunct teacher.                    
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson referred to the inefficient workload of full                 
  time professors.   Ms.  Elgee assured  members that  faculty                 
  productivity is  a high priority  of the  Board of  Regents.                 
  Improved  workload assumptions  are being  incorporated into                 
  future planning.                                                             
                                                                               
  HB 510 was HELD in Committee for further discussion.                         
  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."                         
                                                                               
  NANCY BEAR-USERA, COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION                 
  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.                                                        
                                                                               
  DAN  SPENCER,  FISCAL  ANALYST,  OFFICE  OF  MANAGEMENT  AND                 
  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                 
                                                                               
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  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.                                  
                                                                               
  ART   CHANCE,  LABOR   RELATIONS,  DIVISION   OF  PERSONNEL,                 
  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                 
  authority.                                                                   
                                                                               
  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                 
  proceedings."                                                                
                                                                               
  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                 
  compensation.                                                                
                                                                               
  HB 457 was HELD in Committee for further discussion.                         
                                                                               
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  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  The meeting adjourned at 9:20 a.m.                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
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