Benefits & Services

Union Leadership





February 9, 2023

Staff the State – Rally for our neighbors!
ASEA AFSCME Local 52 members, friends, and legislators come together to support and stand in solidarity with our DPA employees and Alaskans across the state that rely on the critical services they provide.

JUNEAU – On Friday, February 10 at 12:00 PM, Alaska public employees will gather on Juneau’s capitol steps to stand with our members who work in the Division of Public Assistance (DPA) and other sectors across state government experiencing chronic staffing shortages.

Nationwide, hundreds of thousands of public sector jobs are still vacant. These jobs are funded and accounted for in their state’s budgets, and span all types of public services from bus drivers to administrative assistants, to certified nursing assistants to teachers. In Alaska, it includes public assistance eligibility technicians, children’s services caseworkers, nurses, and nurse aids in our Pioneer Homes, and nurses and caregivers at the Alaska Psychiatric Institute (API) – to name a small handful.  

While many attribute the vacancies to various causes, including outdated computer programs and the pandemic, we, know the real reasons for the thousands of vacant positions: unattractive jobs with wages that haven’t kept pace with the cost of living, substandard benefits, and a general lack of respect for public sector workers. In 2023, it’s no secret what job seekers are looking for: dignified & secure retirement, affordable healthcare, the protection that comes with a union contract, and good benefits for the whole family.

Our members have weathered incredible storms— both literally and figuratively – to ensure Alaskans receive the critical services they rely on, every day. This is why we are joining together to show our members, our elected officials, and our neighbors, that we stand with them.


  • ASEA/AFSCME Local 52 Executive Director Heidi Drygas
  • ASEA Executive Board President, Dawn Bundick
  • Elected Officials including Senator Forrest Dunbar (D-Anchorage), Representative Genevieve Mina (D-Anchorage), and Representative Calvin Schrage (N-Anchorage) 
  • ASEA AFSCME Local 52 members & leaders

WHAT: STAFF THE STATE Rally on the capitol steps

WHEN: Friday, Feb 10, 2023, 12 – 12:30 PM

pdf ASEA Media Advisory STAFF THE STATE RALLY 2 9 (267 KB)