Benefits & Services

Union Leadership





Dear ASEA Members at API:

Department of Health and Social Services Deputy Commissioner Albert Wall called me today. He said at the advice of the DHSS attorney, he is extending dates of the WellPath Contract so that DHSS can do a feasibility study (under the collective bargaining agreement between ASEA and the State of Alaska, the State must do a feasibility study before it makes a “decision to contract out work”). This extension includes moving the date of completion of Phase 1, Startup,  from April 15 to June 15, 2019. Additionally, DHSS is extending Phase 2, where WellPath takes over the complete operation of API, from July 1 to September 1, 2019. Deputy Commissioner Wall told me that these extensions were necessary to comply with our collective bargaining agreement.

In response, I told Deputy Commissioner Wall that under Article 13 of our collective bargaining agreement, the feasibility study is required before the State makes a decision to contract out. In other words, even though the State may do a feasibility study it is still violating our contract because it signed a contract with WellPath before doing the study. I further explained that once the feasibility study is done, the contract requires the State to give ASEA the opportunity to provide an alternate plan to privatization and that must be given fair consideration before the State can even take any bids from a private contractor. Given that the State had already signed a contract with WellPath, I explained ASEA simply wasn’t being given a fair opportunity to submit an alternate plan. I concluded our discussion with a recommendation to Deputy Commissioner Wall that he go back to his attorneys and tell them that the contract with WellPath is illegal and that the State needs to start over.

I want to thank you all for being vigilant throughout this whole illegal process. Your attention to detail and the information you have provided to the public, to ASEA and to the legislature about this what is going on at API caused this delay to happen. Again, thank you for all  you do. While the delay give us more time, this fight is not yet over. Please stay vigilant and ASEA Strong!

ASEA will continue updates as we get more information. Please let us know if you have any questions.

In Solidarity,

Jake Metcalfe
Executive Director