by Tom Daniel
When voters in Anchorage go to the polls in November, they will decide the fate of a local ordinance that reins in the collective bargaining rights of municipal employees.
A referendum to repeal the local ordinance known as the Responsible Labor Act will be part of the November 4 ballot. The ordinance, proposed by Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan and approved by the Anchorage Assembly in a 6-5 vote in 2013, imposes limitations on the collective bargaining rights of municipal employees. The ordinance restricts the rights of municipal unions by:
- Limiting union employees’ pay raises to one percent over the five-year average of the Alaska inflation rate;
- Prohibiting strikes;
- Eliminating binding arbitration when the city and a union reach an impasse over the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA), thus giving the city the authority to unilaterally implement its last offer;
- Eliminating bonuses based on seniority or performance;
- Introducing ‘”managed competition” by allowing the city to outsource some union jobs to private contractors; and
- Limiting CBAs to a maximum of three years.