Re: Governor's Proposed FY2018 Budget

Dear GGU Member,

On Thursday, December 15 the Governor announced his proposed FY 2018 Operating Budget. The Governor’s proposal results in a reduction in the budgets of all State of Alaska Departments as well as making it clear that the State will be pursuing the privatization of certain functions of several departments.   

The Governor’s budget proposal is not good news for GGU employees and I assure you that ASEA, your Union, is already working to oppose privatization and to moderate to the greatest extent possible the overall reduction in the budgets and the number of our members that will be negatively impacted.   

This is just the first step in the process of a FY 2018 budget being adopted. As you are aware, the Alaska Legislature will consider the Governor’s proposed budget. It is impossible to predict what actions they may take but be assured we will be communicating with the Legislature on a daily basis regarding the impact of the budget on our ability to provide needed services to the citizens of Alaska. Also, we are preparing to take every step available to us to overcome the Governor’s recommendations on privatization.

Additionally, the Governor announced that he will be introducing legislation in January to freeze Merit Steps and Pay Increments for all Exempt (EX) and Partially Exempt (PX) employees. Further he stated that his Administration would “work to negotiate the pay freezes and health care increases with our union employees as contracts are open for negotiation.” This is a very regressive step in maintaining a quality State of Alaska work force and ASEA will strongly oppose the legislation even though it will have no immediate effect on GGU members. Merit Steps and Pay Increments are included in our current Collective Bargaining Agreement which doesn’t expire until June 30, 2019. The State is required to honor Merit Steps and Pay Increments for GGU members until our current contract expires. However, opposing this proposed legislation now is important so hopefully it won’t be an issue when ASEA begins negotiation of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement in late 2018.

The ASEA staff is currently developing materials and talking points that will be important as we all communicate with our elected officials, friends, and neighbors about the Governor’s Budget proposal. When they are completed we will be providing those talking points to you. In addition, beginning in January, we will be conducting worksite meetings to review with you the talking points and to assure you are fully informed on what the Union is doing to moderate the Governor’s Budget proposal.

Feel free to contact your Business Agent or me if you have any questions or information you think would be helpful as we move forward.

Jim Duncan
Executive Director