ALIVE CANDIDATE INTERVIEWS
The 2014 General Election has candidates and issues that are critical to the future of organized labor. Secretary-Treasurer Rick Boyles and the Executive Board are urging all members and retirees to participate in this election process. It is vital that we get the maximum turnout for all election events so that the candidates see the impact Teamsters will have on this election. Your participation can make a big difference in our success at the polls. Interviews are conducted forum style with Teamster members and retirees submitting written questions to ALIVE staff who ask the questions of the candidates. Questions are limited to labor issues that affect workers and retirees. Each night attendees vote on the candidates that were interviewed to give a sense of who may be chosen to endorse.
Teamsters Alaska Independent Voter Eduction (ALIVE) political action committee will be conducting the 2014 General Election interviews as follows:
Wasilla, 6-9:00 p.m., Tuesday, September 16, 2014, at Wasilla Office
Fairbanks, 6-9:00 p.m., Wednesday, September 17, 2014, at Fairbanks Hall
Anchorage, 6:00-9:00 p.m., Thursday September 18 and Friday September 19, 2014, Anchorage Hall Bennie Rule Room
Food will be provided at 5:30 p.m. at each location. To ensure we have enough food please call Tim Morgan 751-8548 and let him know you plan to attend, you may also contact Tim if you have any questions about ALIVE.
Teamsters 30th JLC Charity Golf Championship was a huge success
The Teamsters JLC Golf Committee wishes to thank our Eagle sponsors Russell Investments, ExxonMobil, ASRC Houston Contracting and Great Northwest along with all the sponsors that make this event successful every year. We had a great turnout for our 30th tournament even though the weather did not enhance the playing conditions everyone had a great time for a good cause. We were able to make generous donations to the Alaska March of Dimes and the Muscular Dystrophy Assocation Alaska. Thank you to all the volunteers from Local 959 and Anchorage Golf Course staff everyone always puts in 100% for this fundraiser and we are so very grateful for each and every one of you!
James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund
ALASKA'S MINIMUM WAGE
What is Alaska's current minimum wage? The minimum wage in Alaska is set at $.50 over the federal minimum wage. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 Alaska's minimum wage is $7.75 per hour. Incidentally, the $.50 Alaska premium was first established in 1959, when the federal minimum wage was $1.00 per hour.
Why do we need to raise the minimum wage? The minimum wage is supposed to assure "the maintenance of minimum standards of living necessary for the health, efficiency, and general well-being of workers." No one can say Alaska's current minimum wage even comes close to doing this. A full-time, year-round worker making $7.75 an hour earns only $16,120 annually. This is $8,600 below the federal poverty threshold for a family of three in Alaska ($24,740) and $13,700 below the federal poverty threshold for a family of four ($29,820).
How does Alaska compare to other states? After having had the highest minimum wage in the nation for the first four decades after statehood, Alaska has fallen to 17th, behind even low-wage states such as Florida ($7.93) and Arizona ($7.90). Eleven states (including Florida and Arizona) provide for an automatic annual cost-of-living adjustment to their minimum wage based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Our Northwest neighbors, Washington ($9.32) and Oregon ($9.10), have the highest state minimum wages. The minimum wage in California will increase to $10 per hour on January 1, 2016.
When was the minimum wage last increased in Alaska? In 2009, the legislature restored the $.50 over federal minimum wage Alaska rate, and the Alaska minimum wage has been $7.75 per hour since 2010. Prior to that, the first major revision to the Alaska minimum wage law since statehood had been passed in 2002. When bills introduced by Governor Knowles and the House Speaker in 2001 were stalled during that year's legislative session, the Alaska AFL-CIO gathered over 50,000 signatures for an initiative based on Knowles' bill, which called for an increase from $5.65 to $7.15, with an annual CPI adjustment or to $1.00 over the federal rate, whichever was greater. The legislature passed a bill identical to the AFL-CIO initiative, thus keeping it off the 2002 ballot. Less than a year after passing that bill the legislature repealed both the CPI and the "$1.00 over federal" wage adjustments.
Had the legislature left the cost of living adjustment in place in 2003 the $7.15 Alaska minimum wage which took effect on January 1, 2003 would be $9.53 per hour today.
The measure proposed by Alaskans for a Fair Minimum Wage would raise the state minimum wage to approximately what it should have been by January 1, 2016 had the 2003 legislature not repealed the cost of living adjustment. The increase is phased in over two years (to $8.75 effective January 1, 2015 and to $9.75 effective January 1, 2016, with cost of living adjustment annually after that) to accommodate employers of low-wage workers in adjusting to the increase.
Who makes the minimum wage? Are they mostly teenagers and part-time? Studies have shown that over 75% of Alaskan workers earning minimum wage are adults. While critics claim that increasing the minimum wage has a negative impact on job opportunities for youth, studies have found the effect, if any, to be minor. In fact, under current Alaska law, which the proposed initiative would not change, workers under the age of 18 who work no more than 30 hours per week are exempted from the Alaska minimum wage and fall under the federal minimum wage law only.
In Alaska, those at or near the minimum wage who would benefit from this measure are employed in seafood processing, hotels, restaurants and food service, child care, cashiers and delivery drivers, and in other low-paying occupations.
Flanagan, Chair. Top contributors: United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1496 (Anchorage Ak), United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (Washington DC), Alaska AFL-CIO (Anchorage, Ak), Fairbanks Central Labor Council (Fairbanks, Ak), IBEW Local 1547 (Anchorage, Ak). This NOTICE TO VOTERS required by Alaska law.
Congratulations Teamsters at Usibelli
In a recent news release Usibelli Coal Mine, located in Healy, Alaska, announced they have gone one full calendar year accident free in 2013. Congratulations to our Teamster members!!
Bridge Health: You Could Save Money
Members Receive a 15% Discount on AT&T Wireless Lines
Here is the information on how to get the 15% discount for your wireless lines, following is the link and the instructions.
1. Under discount registration, click create new account or register for discounts
2. Type in zip code, click continue
3. At the top of the next page click on discount registration
4. Complete online validation process by clicking on blue link
5. Type in email address and wireless number, click continue
6. Enter last four digits of social security number
7. Next click box if user wants to go paperless
8. Certify affiliation by checking the box, and click continue.
Once you click continue, you get a message like this:
AT&T Sponsorship Program
Municipality of Anchorage Ordinance 37