Benefits & Services

Union Leadership





UPDATE - the critical services list has been published on the State of Alaska Division of Personnel website: http://doa.alaska.gov/dop/fileadmin/Human_Resource_Services/pdf/2021_ListofCriticalServices.pdf

ASEA Members,

First, thank you for continuing to do what you do best, for serving Alaskans and Alaska no matter what comes your way. I know public service is more than a job and being in the middle of Alaska’s budget impasse is not fair to you or your families.

I want to make sure you saw the government shutdown FAQs that were posted to the State’s Division of Personnel website: http://doa.alaska.gov/dop/

I’d also like to invite you to attend a virtual worksite meeting on Friday, June 25 at 11:45 am where we will have guest speakers to share additional updates on the budget and Unemployment Insurance and answer additional questions. Please find the registration link in the email that was sent to you.

I’m also writing to update everyone on where we are and what the process looks like regarding negotiations around a furlough Letter of Agreement (LOA).

While we don’t have any control of what the Legislature or governor decides, ASEA members have some influence over the outcomes, pending the State’s cooperation, if a government shutdown becomes a reality.

The benefit of being a union member and having a collectively bargained job means having a say and a vote to determine your wages, benefits, and working conditions. This is what we mean when we say ‘power in the workplace.’ 

For many various reasons, ASEA members have overwhelmingly voiced their interest and preference for a furlough vs layoff. 

While the fate of the operating budget and government shutdown is out of our hands, ASEA can negotiate a letter of agreement (LOA) to “furlough” employees, rather than lay off employees. Additionally, furlough does not require that an employee’s personal leave benefits be completely cashed out. 

In response to our membership, ASEA has encouraged the State to negotiate a furlough LOA. UPDATE The State has responded to that request late in the afternoon on Wednesday.

We want the State to engage in negotiations with ASEA and allow ASEA members to vote on LOAs that change members’ pay, benefits, or working conditions. ASEA has been in communications with the State for nearly a month to try to receive answers and begin this process since reaching agreements on these negotiations can take time, let alone the time it requires to put a vote out to the membership. The sooner this happens, the better. 

Ultimately, we can’t force the State to negotiate a furlough LOA. We hope they do and allow members to have a choice and a voice in what happens. That’s best for the State, our members, Alaska’s working families, and the economy. 

If negotiations move forward, please keep a lookout for an invite to vote on a furlough LOA. We hope to get the LOA out for a vote by members no later than Monday, June 28. 

In the meantime, we will continue to share updates on our website and through our text alert system.

You can respond to this email with any updates or add updates to this online form: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/sign-up-to-stay-in-contact

In closing, I'm sorry for this uncertainty. Annual shutdown threats do not provide stability to Alaska’s working families and our economy. We'll continue to push the State to negotiate. If you are interested, I'd encourage you to contact your legislators and the governor on your personal time and devices, and provide your story about the stress and impact this has on you, your family, and your community.

Thanks for all you do and let us know if you have additional questions, issues, or concerns we can address.

In Solidarity,

Jake Metcalfe
Executive Director