A workshop hosted by the Anchorage Assembly to review a proposed 30-page labor ordinance called Anchorage Ordinance 80-S lasted just half an hour on Friday.
But getting to the conversation took much of South Anchorage Assembywoman Jennifer Johnston's summer. Her proposal would replace AO37, a controversial labor law.
Mayor Dan Sullivan in 2013 successfully pushed to revise the labor code via AO37, but city voters gathered enough signatures to set up a repeal election in November.
The new version reinserts binding arbitration and the right to strike and also removes managed competition.
"What managed competition does, instead of outsourcing public services, the public employees might be able to do this just as effectively as a private corporation,” Johnston said.
Treasurer of the Anchorage Police Department Employees Association Gerard Asselin said he agrees with most of Johnston's proposal, but he is concerned that management will have too much say in scheduling.
"If we take away from our employees the ability to have any input on their working hours, whether it be days off their shift, that sort of thing, it becomes a very important issue for us,” Asselin said.
Asselin is also worried IT workers who handle APD's computers and dispatch system may be excluded from union representation.
Even with concerns, Johnston said her rewrite is at least a step in the right direction.
"I don't agree with everything in here, but it’s at least getting it down the road to a progressive fashion,” she said, though if the votes are not there she could pull the proposal from the agenda ahead of Tuesday's meeting.
Assembly Chairman Patrick Flynn said a proposal to completely repeal AO37 is also on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting.
Should that measure pass, the voter-initiated repeal would be removed from the November ballot.