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September 20, 2021

Assemblyman Admits Back Room Shenanigans

Tuesday’s Anchorage Assembly meeting promised to be more interesting than usual, but no one was expecting the jaw-dropping admission of blatant politicking by a supporter of the Mayor on the Assembly, and that the peoples’ referendum to repeal a draconian labor ordinance was being set up as a casualty of electoral manipulation. The Anchorage Assembly passed its anti-union, anti-public-employee Ordinance 37 back in March of 2013 despite hours and hours of testimony against it. In fact, Chair Ernie Hall even cut off testimony with many still waiting for an opportunity to speak. That led to the filing of a petition to…

Did You Miss Irony Week?

I have to admit, I missed it. Apparently it was Irony Week in the Municipality from May 5-11. Luckily we have Mayor Dan Sullivan on the job, raising Irony Week to new heights of… well, irony. This winter, hundreds of people – municipal workers of all stripes, and supporters from the community, filed into the Assembly chambers to protest the erosion of collective bargaining rights, and threats to the livelihood of public workers in the form of the Mayor’s Ordinance 37. They stood in line, they waited in seats, they filled the lobby. They went on their day off, their…

The Many Faces of Ernie Hall

As Tuesday draws near, bringing with it the probable passage of Mayor Sullivan’s anti-labor “Employee Relations Act,” I still have a question for Assembly Chair Ernie Hall. Among the ardent supporters of Anchorage Ordinance 37, on which Chair Hall’s name is listed as the sponsor, are lawmakers who crusaded against unions during their campaigns. During his first run against Dick Traini, Andy Clary told a crowd that he felt limiting city contracts to the public sector was “wrong.” Back in 2010, he said: “I believe that excludes a whole crop of private contractors out there which, if we opened the…

AO37 Testimony Still Going Strong

After 15 combined hours of testimony, the line of people waiting to address Assembly members stretched to the back of the room, and the auditorium was more than half full. It was 11:00 at night on a Wednesday. There is no doubt that the issue of Ordinance 37, which would radically alter the collective bargaining rights, and benefits of city workers, has hit Alaskans close to home. Longevity and performance bonuses, the right to strike, binding arbitration, and who exactly will decide the outcome of contract negotiations all hang in the balance. For the last week and a half, the…

2/26-27 No on 37!

You may be hearing conflicting information on when to testify before the Assembly regarding Mayor Sullivan’s gutting of collective bargaining, and other rights of municipal workers. There may be deliberate obfuscation happening. It’s been done before. The rules of the Assembly say they cannot change the date of public testimony without two weeks notice. There has not been 2 weeks notice. So, show up, and sign up to testify on Tuesday. The “all call” is still out for Wednesday, but there is the possibility of shenanigans on Tuesday. Ernie Hall is quoted in the paper saying one thing, and Sullivan…

Lunch with Labor and Lattes with the Legislature!

Today from 11:30 – 1:30, Anchorage union members are hosting a picnic to encourage Senator Lisa Murkowski to support the Employee Free Choice Act.  Attendees will sign petitions and make phone calls to the Senator to encourage her to support the Act. In a strange case of “go figure,”  Congressman Don Young who sponsors the EFCA will be in attendance at the picnic. All union members and their families are invited to attend. The picnic will be held in the parking lot of Laborers International Union 341 (LIUNA), 2501 Commercial Drive, Anchorage, AK (In case of rain, the picnic will…