May 19, 2020 Statewide Alaska Info Meeting

Alaska Info Meeting | May 19, 2020, @ 6 PM via Zoom

Scott Hansen gave Introductions and format for the meeting.

Communication Update:

All council and Alaska rep contact info is listed on the website.

Chris is posting links to UBC ICRA/COVID-19 training. All AK reps have taken this training. Good info for safe job site practices, CDC guidelines, working on job sites safely, plus certification that links to your training card.

AK Just went to Phase 3

All businesses available to open on Friday May 22. Travel restrictions are still in place. All info will be on  website

Local meetings:

Local 1281 canceled April and May local meetings, we did hold E board meetings to keep local business going. Next month 1281 may be able to hold our regular local meeting.

Local 2520 has not had to cancel any meetings through this pandemic.

Local 1243 Cancelled March and April, but will likely hold May meeting

General Convention

All AK delegates have been elected. Convention changed due to covid-19. Convention will be a council wide meeting, and attend virtually for one day.

Council Delegate meeting was modified and held last Saturday. This was not an official meeting, just informational.

Health and welfare

Bridge health. Trustees adopted a year ago. Essentially called a medical vacation; certain procedures will allow you to fly down to a center of excellence that Bridge Health works with, no out of pocket expense to the member. They put you in a hotel, and allow you to take help with you (such as a spouse). Last year 3 people took advantage of this, saved the trust 80K doing this. That equates to 8000 man-hours in work saved.

Teledoc: Register and call in. It’s a 40$ payment that the trust pays. It’s a huge savings to the trust. This is for Doctor visits. Very helpful due to AK high cost of medical care

Contracts Update

Dustin Swatek: I’m new on contracts administration. AK will have a local helping run contracts so contractors have a “Local” face leading negotiations. Bargaining survey was sent out to members for Contract Bargaining Agreement (CBA)  wish list, then covid-19 happened, so the committee discussed other options like postponing/extending contract 6mo-1 year. Pretty unanimous to extend 1 year.

Ratification vote to postpone 1 year passed with approx. 9% participation. Out of 1200 members 112 voted. 1 incomplete. 73 yes, 38 voted no. Extension passed, negotiators will take place in 2021. Regarding Project Agreement (PA) only contractors, we are having conversations about LOU and MOU use. Trying to eliminate them so PA’s are just reflective of CBA as LOU/MOU are mirrored to CBA. Purpose is to hold contractors accountable to the CBA.

Scott: Covid-19 job closures; Known 8 union jobs shut down affecting 79 carpenters, 7 millwrights. 4 of 8 have reopened. Bad news is a number of projects for this year have been cancelled indefinitely, or pushed to 2021 some point. Combination of tourism, material delivers/covid-19 and oil prices are the cause.

As always, ask members to report any safety issues…union or nonunion (NU). We want to ensure the construction industry is not adversely affected.

It’s always helpful to have members relay info when they see projects come out or started as Reps aren’t able to see everything all the time.


Steve Abel Piledriver Report: Reported on numerous jobs in progress as well as some upcoming projects.

Joe Pugliese reported on upcoming MW work.

Scott H: Report on man hours (MH’s). We are down on work hours, State money has not been here to support projects like in the past due to AK budget issues. Looking to maintain the same hours as the past few years.

Josh Bolton training report: Anchorage classes have started, 3 week rotations with smaller class sizes. Fairbanks will do two classes with smaller class size and short duration. Hoping to put on a scaffold Journeyman (JM) upgrade by the end of July. Will try and put on other JM upgrade classes as needed, will need member/contractor input to work out time and details. 9 apprentices have been dispatched in the last 3-4 days.

(Moved to Report section for legibility)
AJ Report: Local 1243 delegate totals were announced on FB, Local newsletter at the end of the month and posted the day after elections. Our 2 delegates are Josh Bolton and Liam Ward. 

Calls for hands: Johnson River was looking for 2 jobs that were temp and needed 4 hands each. 16 names and contacts were provided to them. 1 has been dispatched and onsite. Next week dispatches will start for other job

Healthcare; we have to work 120 hours a month…$10 hour is approximately $1200 in order to keep our insurance, anything over that goes into an hour bank. Associate members have to pay over $1400 month for their insurance, technically they’re paying more than us.

Local 1243 cancelled April and May meetings, June meeting is planned to be held as a regular meeting, nominations will be held for local office position at this meeting, notifications went out today

AJ gave numerous local contractor job updates as well. AJ also noted all AK reps have been doing online training, as well as outreach to retirees and apprentices to ensure they are safe and well.

1243 Office hours are basically back to normal now. Leah is in office pretty regular as well.

Questions and Answers:

Justin Jackson: Do you think all members had a chance to vote? I have members saying they never got the hustle text or email for this vote? Also if someone opts out of mass texts do they receive voting text?

Dustin: People don’t always keep info updated, that leads to missed opportunities. If you opt out of Hustle, you miss this communication chance. Always a struggle to get member participation. Survey for CBA got 252 responses and went out to the same people as this ratification vote.

Scott K: In regards to Healthcare cost, why do we charge management the bare minimum amount at a flat rate while we charge the carpenters working on those jobs an hourly rate? for the people on the health board can they respond as to if they feel it is fair and if not what they are doing to correct that situation?

Scott H:  Associate members such as Niki at training center, Contractors. These aren’t a part of our bargaining agreement. This is offered on a limited scale.

Justin: Are any rank and file members going to be able to voice their concerns during this 1 hour meeting?

Chris D Answer: We don’t know April Hours yet, but we know 8000 hours over last year’s hours for March.

Scott H Answer: Glad we are up over last year, we will see what April and the rest of the year do. Our hours from 4-5 years ago are probably 30-40% over where we are now. Membership decline certainly has an impact on that as well.

Scott K: can 1243 have a report, perhaps after the apprentice report?

Chris D Answer: We can have AJ give a report

Justin: Don’t all union members have the same right to vote? DOL laws require that

Scott H Answer: I would say yes.

Scott K: 1243 is struggling to man jobs with skilled labor for the third year in row, we have union jobs in Fairbanks in need of hands. What are we doing to recruit more members up in Fairbanks?

Scott H Answer: AK staff has been having discussions the last two weeks regarding this. Looking at stripping campaign, looking at suspended member list for bringing them back in. Hadn’t heard FBX was needing calls. I haven’t heard calls from contractors or open calls for help.

Dan M: Anyone hear about the 107 room Hilton home suites being built by H 5???

Chris D: I just saw this today. I had not heard of who. Kevin M is already directed to find out more details tomorrow

Scott H: I would guess it’s H5 as they are a developer and will be doing this, but we will look into it.

Scott K: why haven’t you heard that we need hands? Why was Anchorage receiving a higher rate in their pension? Who made that decision? Is it still occurring?

Scott H Answer: We haven’t heard as nobody has called in. Have not heard any reports from AJ regarding needs. Sometimes there is a disconnect between superintendent and office and us in regards to member needs. Anchorage pension was a rehab plan to shore up the legacy plan. Contractors have to pay an additional 54 cents into the legacy plan. This is not accrued, only benefit is to help bring up pension funding.

Justin Question: So, members who opted out with no information that they might not be able to vote on future collective bargaining agreements is this ok with us?

Chris: most opt outs from members are pretty hostile and nasty in nature, we don’t fight that, it’s their decision on how they receive their messaging. We also struggle with members who don’t keep their info up to date

Scott H: That’s not our only means of comms. We have social media, job site visits. I agree this was quick and turnout was not what we wanted. We will strive to do better next time, and will talk to contracts about this. Mail outs are really expensive, which is why we got dispensation to do electronic comms. We definitely need to do better

Dustin: we have weekly meetings with all 6 states. This is reflective in ALL 6 areas. We are open to ideas to get better involvement.

Dan M: if the Hilton home suites builds nonunion will the regional council be told? we stay at Hiltons when we have delegate meeting

Scott H: These are franchises. We utilize union hotels and do not use non union franchises. We had issues with Hilton and Sheraton due to nonunion issues, Sheraton is now union so we use them, just like Captain Cook. Same situation in Spokane, we stopped holding delegate meetings there as they chose to use nonunion contractors for renovation work.

Scott K : we recently held an election for our delegates to the international. what is a reasonable amount of time for me to wait to hear the results?

Scott H: I believe that was done all in person the day of election. Those results would have been immediately available. AJ can add to this.

Micah M:  Did you say that you guys have meetings with the local contractors? If so where and where is it?

Scott H: we meet with contractors all the time, nearly daily. We have been sending out introduction letters to NU contractors, looking to establish partnerships. Union contractors we meet with them all the time.

Scott K : when are we hiring someone to provide AJ help up in Fairbanks?

Scott H: We were ready to send some applicants to 3 day, but that has all been put on hold due to Covid-19. Also, the council has not been hiring any reps due to loss of work hours. WA recently ahd 4k members laid off, so that impacts things. As state opens back up for travel, we will be getting reps up to assist again.

Chris : I would add there has been a spending freeze for all of us due to covid.

Justin : So yes or no all members are having a chance to vote?

Scott H: yes. All members have a chance to vote. There may be some members ineligible for suspension or wage allocation votes.

Dan M and Scott K (asked same question): is there anymore safety issues with the Neeser job up in clear?

Dustin Answer: Good relations with Neeser and Steward Chris Fichtner and Lead safety guy John Stallone. This has been addressed and things are going way better and no more issues.

Dan M Question: is June 1281 meeting on?

Scott H Answer: not 100% certain, though it sounds like we will be able to do hold it as normal.

Closing Remarks:

Scott H: Encourage all those on the line, reach out to reps if you know people needing working, looking etc. as we struggle with contractors using mix 2020. Thank you for joining the meeting, appreciate the new faces. Hope we answered your questions, if not please reach out to the reps. Also, we would appreciate feedback on the meeting, this isn’t a replacement of union meetings so we would like to know if this works and is helpful.

Chris: Thanks Everybody for joining. I posted all contact info for AK reps, reach out to any rep you want, we all work for you. Thanks for sharing your time, and please provide feedback.

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