A motion to indefinitely postpone the proposed labor-law rewrite failed at Tuesday’s Assembly Meeting as hundreds of union leaders and members gathered to protest, which means on Feb. 26, there will be a public hearing for the proposal.
Supporters of all eight of the Muni unions showed up well before 5 p.m. and by the time the Assembly was set to begin, the Fire Marshall had to start clearing the entrance because the fire code was broken, leaving most of the supporters outside to demonstrate.
"What we've seen tonight is a reflection of unions, it's a reflection of Anchorage,” said Mike Davidson, Anchorage Firefighters Union. “It's the people of Anchorage voicing their concern, with the potential oversight for legislation that has huge impact on our city."
On Monday, Mayor Sullivan said the proposed plan will make all city contract negotiations more fair, simple and streamlined, giving the power to the assembly to ensure all city employees are under the same set of rules.
Assembly member Paul Honeman filed a movement to postpone the rewrite indefinitely, which would essentially kill it, was denied 7-4. Efforts to delay the hearing in March and April also failed.
“Labor tries to turn out their members to show that they're concerned every time they go into labor negotiations so it's a natural process and there is no surprise to it," said Ernie Hall, Assembly Chair.
There will be a two week waiting period before the first public hearing is scheduled, now that the collective bargaining ordinance has been introduced to the Assembly.
Sullivan and union representatives held a meeting Monday morning to talk about the mayor's proposal that the unions say would weaken them and hurt their members who work for the city.
Representatives of eight of the local labor organizations say the meeting lasted about 30 minutes.
The public hearing will take place February 26 and there is no timeline set for when the Assembly will vote on the ordinance.
The Assembly will hold a two-hour work session on Mayor Sullivan's labor law rewrite at 1 p.m. Friday at City Hall, which is open to the public.
Contact Blake Essig and Nancy Lockwood