The Municipality of Anchorage has a preliminary agreement with the union which negotiates for the largest number of its employees.
Mayor Dan Sullivan’s office issued a statement Tuesday saying his administration had come to an agreement with the Anchorage Municipal Employee Association on wages, health benefits, incentive programs and the term of the contract.
The Anchorage Municipal Employees Association (AMEA) is a group of more than 500 employees working for the Municipality of Anchorage. The union represents a wide variety of city jobs, including appraisers, nurses and accountants.
“Both parties are continuing to negotiate, as we speak, right now to reach a mutually acceptable agreement,” AMEA President Mark McKee said.
A statement from the Mayor’s office details what’s been agreed upon so far: wages for AMEA members will increase 1.5 percent in January 2014 and again in January 2015. The contract will last for two years.
Mayor Sullivan says his team has been negotiating under the terms of the controversial labor ordinance, also known as AO-37, which limits municipal employees pay, benefits and their right to strike among other things.
“Despite all the gloom and doom and I think overdramatized negativity about AO-37, in fact it does give us the very clear guidelines so that we can have contracts in the future that are not only good for the taxpayers but good for the employees and, again, much easier to implement, manage and to understand in the future,” Sullivan said. “And that was the intent in the first place and, so far, I think we’re achieving that goal.”
Under public pressure, the Anchorage Assembly voted to repeal the law proposed by the Sullivan administration in October, but the Mayor used his veto power to override their decision.
The Supreme Court of Alaska is set to expedite a decision on whether a referendum to repeal the law can go forward. A decision is expected by February.
The Municipality and the AMEA started negotiating in September. They’re hoping to have a new agreement by the New Year.