ASEA Still Hoping to Organize UA Employees

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A union attempting to organize a group of University of Alaska employees isn’t giving up. The Alaska State Employees Association or ASEA garnered the required level of interest from the 2,500 support staff group last summer, and was approved by the state to go forward with a vote, but never scheduled an election. ASEA Administrator Jim Duncan says organizers felt they needed to reach more employees before moving ahead with a vote.

Duncan says it’s not unusual for labor organizing campaigns to re-group. The Alaska State Troopers are looking into allegations that names were forged on union interest cards distributed by ASEA last summer. Duncan says the claim was made by an outgoing employee, and there’s no merit to the allegation.

He says the ASEA hopes to be able to hold an election sometime this year, but that the union has to start the state approval process from scratch.

Duncan lists key issues as wages, health insurance, layoff protection and re-hire rights. UA support staff represent the only remaining unorganized group of university employees. The ASEA already represents 8,000 state and municipal employees in Alaska.

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