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Dunleavy’s Attack on ASEA Hurts All Alaskans

Photos by: ASEA
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By Jake Metcalfe, ASEA Executive Director Worth the Fight Economic Security Workers' Rights
Dunleavy’s Attack on ASEA Hurts All Alaskans

(Editor’s note: Metcalfe, executive director of the Alaska State Employees Association (ASEA)/AFSCME Local 52, wrote the following op-ed for the Anchorage Daily News in response to Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s lawsuit against the union. ASEA has countersued.)

Erin Gleason is a scientist who protects Alaska’s environment and ensures all of us drink clean water. Carl Jacobs is an investigator who has protected some of our most vulnerable citizens, including children, over the course of his career in public service. Cassandra Lynch helps make sure seniors and people with disabilities have access to the resources they need to lead healthy, productive lives.

Erin, Carl and Cassandra are just a few of the thousands of Alaskans who have dedicated their careers and their lives to making our beautiful state stronger, healthier and safer.

They are also part of the proud and long history of union members in Alaska. …

Today, Alaska unions don’t just help workers earn the wages and benefits we deserve. For people in public service like Erin, Carl and Cassandra, unions like the Alaska State Employee Association help them work for all of us. By giving them a voice and a seat at the table, unions help them serve us better. …

Gov. Mike Dunleavy wants to push through draconian budget cuts that would create economic insecurity across the state – and Alaskans working in public service are the biggest danger to his agenda. Stripping unions like ASEA of power will give him carte blanche to attack the people who make Alaska a better place to live every day. That’s why Dunleavy started a fight recently when he filed a lawsuit against his own employees, ASEA members.

Dunleavy’s plan is to hobble the unions and the working men and women who use their voices to make Alaska stronger every day. He and his attorney general are erecting new obstacles to make it more difficult for Alaskans in public service to join unions and pay their dues. They want to create a giant new bureaucracy with one purpose: to take away our freedom and our voice. …

(To read the rest of the op-ed, go here).