ALRA Affirms ASEA Bargaining Re: Conversion

Dear ASEA Member,

On May 18, 2020, the Alaska Labor Relations Agency (ALRA) determined that the Alaska State Employees Association was bargaining in good faith while negotiating with the State of Alaska over terms of a bi-weekly payroll conversion. The decision answered an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge filed by the State against ASEA on March 5, 2020 following months of attempts at resolving a final outstanding issue relating to the wages earned during the transition year of the conversion.

A detailed timeline and narrative of events is available in the ALRA Notice of Preliminary Finding and Dismissal. pdf 20-1753-ULP State v. ASEA, ALRA Notice of Preliminary Finding/Order of Dismissal (May 18, 2020) (158 KB)

After a careful review of evidence presented by both parties, ALRA determined that ASEA had made numerous efforts to reach agreement over the pay discrepancy, wherein an employee at the center of the wage table would be shorted approximately $150 in 2020 following the conversion to a bi-weekly pay cycle on June 1.

Instead of continuing to negotiate with ASEA, the State filed the ULP charge. The timing coincided with the developing danger and potential threat of the novel coronavirus—which was determined to be a global pandemic on March 11.

Three days after the ULP decision was announced by ALRA, negotiations between the Union and the State concluded with a letter of dispute resolution in which binding arbitration would decide the wage disagreement and the State would not appeal the ULP decision. Binding arbitration would begin within 30 days of the June 1, 2020 implementation date sought by the State for bi-weekly payroll conversion.

As ASEA continues to advocate for your full earnings, it’s important to do what is necessary to prepare for the June 1 payroll calendar changes. Please note the differences you will receive by pay period and the differences you might see in your annual salary until this issue is resolved. We have updated our Bi-Weekly FAQ sheet to help address additional questions. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with additional questions or issues as they arise. Thank you for all the work you do for Alaska.

In Solidarity,

Jake Metcalfe
Executive Director