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Hello PSEA Members, and Happy New Year!
This is Meagan Carmichael, Acting Executive Director for PSEA. As you may know, Jake Metcalfe is leaving PSEA, effective January 5, 2018. We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors as Executive Director of ASEA. During his 8 years as Executive Director at PSEA, his hard work increased pay, benefits and qualify of life for all PSEA members. We will miss him!
The PSEA Corporate Board of Directors has established a transition committee to hire a new Executive Director, as well as address issues that arise in the interim. The committee has appointed myself as the Acting Executive Director for PSEA, until a permanent Executive Director is hired. The committee anticipates this process could be completed in April of 2018.
As the Acting Executive Director of PSEA, I would like to personally thank all of our PSEA members for all of your hard work, dedication, and commitment to providing public safety, and protecting the citizens of Alaska. You make sacrifices every day to keep the rest of us safe and secure, and your public service is invaluable and irreplaceable.
In 2018, PSEA will continue to fight for increased wages for all PSEA members, as well as lobby for legislation to improve retirement and other benefits. Law enforcement agencies around the country are facing a crisis with recruitment and retention, and Alaska is no exception. PSEA plans to educate Alaska’s political leaders about the dangers of ignoring this crisis, and the dire consequences for public safety, if nothing is done to attract and retain qualified law enforcement officers. The state, and municipalities, must significantly increase wages, and provide a defined benefit retirement system, to public safety employees in Alaska in order to compete with other law enforcement agencies around the country.
PSEA will also continue to address the rising costs of health care for our members in 2018. Some PSEA members are covered by PSEA’s health trust, and trust members are currently exploring options for containing and reducing costs as much as possible. This is a long and complex process in a heavily regulated industry, so we will keep the membership updated of any anticipated changes.
As we work together to accomplish these goals, I would encourage all of you to get more involved with PSEA business. We currently have several vacancies on various PSEA Boards and committees, and I would ask that you consider running for an open position. Board members direct and control the business of PSEA, and influence leadership decisions and actions. Get involved today to make your voices heard!
With a reduced staff at PSEA for the next several months, we encourage all PSEA members to contact your local union representative to address work place issues. It greatly benefits PSEA members, as well as management, to attempt to resolve problems at the lowest level possible, with a discussion with the shop steward and the supervisor. Although it may not always solve the problem, open communication improves the working relationship and helps build trust between PSEA and management.
Please contact me any time via phone, email or text message, with questions, comments and concerns. I look forward to working with all of you, and thank you again for everything that you do for the great State of Alaska!
Thank you, and have a very Happy New Year!
Acting Executive Director
4228 Laurel Street
Anchorage, AK 99508
The past several weeks have seen two devastating hurricanes, Harvey and Irma, strike parts of the country that tens of thousands of AFSCME members call home. All across the South and in Puerto Rico, AFSCME members were among the first to ready their communities for the storms’ landfall. They remained on the ground as the storms raged. They were there in the days after to administer help – caring for the injured, clearing roads, answering desperate phone calls, assisting evacuees and starting to put their cities and towns back together.
Once again, we see that crises like these bring out the best in public service workers. Our AFSCME Sisters and Brothers demonstrated their unflagging commitment to their neighbors. These are the moments when we show what “Never Quit” is all about.
But many of our Sisters and Brothers have also been displaced by these storms, their homes destroyed and their lives upended. The coming weeks and months will be difficult ones for them. We’re asking you to be a part of their recovery effort by making a tax deductible donation to AFSCME’s Fallen Heroes Fund. Please give today. Contributions will help provide immediate aid (like food, water and temporary housing), as well as longer-term efforts to help them rebuild their homes and lives.
AFSCME is always most generous when times are toughest. Please let your fellow members know that we’re all thinking about them and praying for them.
Alaskans to Rally Across the State on June 11 to Keep Alaska Open for Business
Yesterday pink slips went out to nearly 19,000 state employees, warning them that if the legislature
doesn’t reach a budget deal by July 1st, they will lose their jobs. With two weeks until the end of the
special session, zero progress is evident between the Senate and House majorities on reaching a deal
on a comprehensive plan.
Simultaneous rallies will take place at 1:00 pm on June 11th in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and
Juneau encouraging lawmakers to come up with a plan they can agree on before the scheduled
June 16th end of the current special session. A government shutdown looms just two weeks
later on July 1st if a deal is not reached.
Over the past eighteen months, credit rating agencies, businesses, economists, chambers of
commerce, labor organizations, foundations, and an assortment of diverse coalitions and people of all
political stripes around the state have concurred that a comprehensive fiscal plan is necessary to deal
with the state’s $2.5 billion budget deficit.
Governor Walker and the House Majority Coalition have done the heavy lifting, working diligently in
proposing and passing a plan that includes budget reductions, a structured use of Permanent Fund
earnings, and new broad-based revenue. The Senate majority on the other hand has only passed one
fiscal measure all session, which would still leave a hole in the budget approaching a billion dollars,
while hoping oil prices recover.
“Hope is not a strategy,” said Vince Beltrami, president of the Alaska AFL-CIO. “The priorities of the
Senate Majority are out of whack. While hundreds of teachers lost their jobs last week and contemplate
having to leave the state for jobs Outside, the Senate Majority has proposed an austerity plan that will
undoubtedly and unnecessarily prolong and deepen the state’s recession. It is past time to get the job
done and set Alaska on a path to diverse longterm fiscal stability and a new time of economic
prosperity. That won’t happen until we are on sound fiscal footing.”
More information on rally locations can be found here: www.akaflcio.org/rally-for-alaska