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Rally at Tonight’s Assembly Meeting

Assembly Chair Ernie Hall

Assembly Chair Ernie Hall

At some point, Anchorage residents are going to believe Mayor Dan Sullivan when he tells them who he is. At five minutes before quitting time on Friday afternoon, Mr. Mayor decided he’d tell municipal employees that the very next Tuesday, the Anchorage Assembly was going to be taking a vote to freeze their pay and benefits. Forever. Yes, forever. Not only that, they’d be deciding whether to gut their collective bargaining rights.

And guess when these employees who were notified at 4:55pm on Friday were told they could meet to learn all about these huge changes to their jobs? 8am on Monday morning. Because that’s what your government does when it wants to celebrate citizen involvement, and participation.

“Why are they moving something so drastic forward without any input from anybody else in the city?” asked Rod Harris, Anchorage Fire Fighters Union president. “There’s a political agenda at play here. The whole thing just smells bad.”

“I’m concerned about how much impact this could have, yet how little planning went into it,” said Sgt. Gerard Asselin, a patrol sergeant and an officer of the police union. “This isn’t a simple change as the mayor might suggest.”

Dan Repasky of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers said he was “confused and stunned” when he learned Assembly chairman Ernie Hall is a sponsor of the measure, with Assembly vice-chairwoman Jennifer Johnston. Hall has told members of the IBEW that he respected workers’ rights, Repasky said. “This action appears to us to be a betrayal of his position.”


The Mayor’s draconian plan will be introduced at the Assembly meeting tonight -Tuesday- at 5:00pm.

Please be present to demonstrate your opposition, and support hard-working municipal employees who were just blind-sided.

In a letter to supporters, Mike Wenstrup, Alaska Democratic Party Chair said:

We have seen what Republican majorities in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana mean: Sustained assault on the middle class, starting with employee unions. Republicans in all these states took direct aim at the fundamental right to organize, just as Sullivan has. In the case of Sullivan’s proposed ordinance, he doesn’t just gut collective bargaining. He would write into the statute a prohibition on employees getting a pay raise in excess of inflation–ever. He would ban any increase in benefits–ever. Sound too crazy to be true? Read it yourself.

Please share THIS LINK with your Facebook friends, and come to the Assembly chambers in Anchorage at the Loussac Library at 5pm.



16 Responses to “Rally at Tonight’s Assembly Meeting”
  1. JHypers says:

    Here’s a libertarian take on the whole scene. I am indifferent towards unions, and have very little knowledge of what Anchorage’s local unions have been able to secure for their workers. But I do see the tidal wave of sovereign debt ballooning worldwide, and if you don’t think this will affect local governments you will be in for a rude awakening. Consider the several state governments that are one step away from insolvency, and it’s understandable why others have moved to cut their losses after seeing the writing on the wall. The stealth tactics are to be expected. Anytime you seek to undercut union power, it has to happen fast or key players might get their brake lines cut by thugs from the IBEW ( think your hallowed collective bargaining rights haven’t come without a few death threats tossed around?)
    Make no mistake here: I am no fan of the Muni or Mayor Dan, who could barely manage to keep the roads plowed last winter. As far as I see it, the less legal plunder there is to administer…and the less bargaining power a government workers’ union has, the less incentive there is to work for said government. It’s a brilliant scheme overall…and the Republicans can take all the credit for fleecing the poor down-trodden worker, though I’m amused by their own unique collectivist leanings as much as I am by the Democrats (if you don’t think corporatism is a strain of collectivism, I have a few short reading assignments for you) Both sides have their coffers. For Republicrats (in AK at least), it’s the oil companies. For Democans, it’s the unions. The only constant in the whole mix is the legal plunder (read Bastiat’s “The Law” for a better explanation of what that entails).

    I prefer a society where no one forcefully takes anything from anyone…but I guess that’s too idealistic for most.

  2. fishingmamma says:

    After Wisconson, it was just a matter of time. Anyone that is ‘stunned’ by this move has just not been paying attention.

  3. John says:

    Ernie says: Something needs to change in order to keep city spending plans at pace with the consumer price index, Hall said before the meeting. “If you don’t do that, you have pay increases that you end up having to cut personnel back because you can’t afford the cost of the increase.”

    So why not negotiate a CPI adjustment with your unions instead of proposing a law that says you don’t need to negotiate at all?

  4. simple mind says:

    Poor, befuddled Ernie Hall can’t imagine why anyone would be upset at him for sponsoring this garbage. After all, he just wants to talk about taking our rights away. I mean, what harm could come of that? His comments in today’s news are priceless. He’s not talking about taking anything away, he says. Whatever wage you have today, you’ll have that forever. See, isn’t that great? Don’t you feel better now?

    • Joe says:

      Actually I would feel a little bit better if I actually kept what I had today. As I see it I am going to take about a 30% pay cut and then about a 5% pay cut a year for the rest of my “career” . Those are the facts of this proposal as it is written. I could write pages proving this statement to be true, but I would lose your interest at about this point in my essay.

  5. AKjah says:

    I only had to read the comments to an ADN article to understand how” special” Dan could get away with this. We are not dealing with an informed electorate. I will not include any expletives or qualifiers. I think i will go back and enjoy the cute Kittehs.

  6. unionguy56 says:

    Keep the pressure on Sullivan, he’ll have to return to Anchorage at some point and face the music.
    What a sorry excuse for a man, let alone a mayor.

  7. John says:

    There were enough people inside and outside to actually change April’s election if most of them decide to vote.

    • AKblue says:

      People had to park so far away the city attorneys were 25 minutes late getting there. People just kept coming and coming. Police were there but they stayed on the sidelines. State workers showed up too because they know their unions will be under attack next. It was awesome.

  8. jHoffa says:

    Wow, mention managed competition and the fancy little world the unions exist are suddenly at war with the Osama Bin Laden of mayors. We all know Sullivan can’t wake up one day and go shopping for another fire department. I’m curious as to why these uptight union pansies are all of a sudden afraid?

    • John says:

      because he is proposing to change the rules for most employees so that, while he can’t get rid of them, he can say “here is what we are willing to pay you, take it or find another job” and “here are your working conditions, take it or find another job.” when you take away employee barganing power, the end result may be some short term savings, but in the long run you end up with unhappy workers who are less productive. You also get more of the less qualified workers as the best workers move on to employers that respect them and threat them well.

  9. Zyxomma says:

    I, too, live in a city with a mayor who’d like to destroy all unions; he hates them (he’s a plutocrat, so no surprise). However, in this city, he can’t just get away with it all the time.

  10. Terri2 says:

    Assemby members are up for reelection on April 2. According to ADN two of the current members, including Ernie Hall, a supporter of Sullivan’s, are running unopposed. It would be great for pro-union candidates to give these two a ruin for their money. Even if they have to run a write-in it would be better than handing an assembly seat away.

  11. Alaska Pi says:

    Pay attention ANC!
    There are so many things wrong with this , it is hard to get hold of them.
    The stance that managed competition will increase government efficiency has limited use yet this extends it through your city/borough structure without allowing the public to study , comment , or vote on the idea. This is a fundamental shift in governance…

    When are you going to amend your charter and dump the “strong mayor” form ? Representative democracy there suffers when you have a crummy mayor.Seriously suffers.

  12. leota2 says:

    They’re stunned? Amazing. With all that he has done they keep on electing this POS. . . . .

    • Froznturd says:

      Stunned? Plays better than asleep at the wheel. Nothing new here – Danny has been doing this from the get go; ditto the assembly where he used to play. Anna Fairclough and Dan Coffey taught him well. Too many of these upper level department folks and union members have been party to or turned a blind eye to these very same techniques when it was in their best interest.

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