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Alaska Digest

Posted: Tuesday, August 24, 2004

ASEA agrees to 3-year contracts with raises

JUNEAU - The membership of Alaska's largest state employee union has agreed with the state to three-year contracts that include pay increases in 2005 and 2006.

Jim Duncan, business manager for the Alaska State Employees Association, said the contracts guarantee a 1.5 percent cost-of-living-adjustment increase in 2005 and a 2 percent increase in 2006. ASEA represents about 8,000 state workers.

"I agree with our membership and the contracting team that our members deserve more," Duncan said. "Clearly we did the best we could do with this administration. We needed the security of a collective bargaining agreement rather than staying at the table."

The contracts also increase the employer contribution for health insurance from $705 per member per month to $763. Duncan said the health insurance increase is contingent on legislative approval and is retroactive to July 1, 2004. It also increases the employer contribution in 2005 and 2006 based on a formula agreed upon by the state and union.

Employees also will receive:

• an additional holiday that they can use at their discretion.

• an injury leave account providing assistance for those assaulted on the job.

• an emergency leave account for those with long-term health problems.

About 38 percent of the union's membership voted in the election, according to ASEA. And Duncan said 82 percent of those who voted approved the contracts.

The contracts still must be approved by the Legislature.

Alleged weapon threat leads to jail time

JUNEAU - A teen charged with felony assault after being accused of a threat involving a military assault weapon was ordered to spend 10 days in jail.

Prosecutors dismissed a felony third-degree assault charge against Justin T. Brokken, 18, stemming from the June 24 incident near Delta Drive in the Mendenhall Valley. A charge of third-degree assault is still pending against his father, Barry Brokken, 42.

For the son, Juneau Superior Court Judge Larry Weeks imposed 180 days in jail with 170 days suspended. He also placed the younger Brokken on probation for 18 months.

Police concluded that the dispute began when people accused Justin Brokken of driving too fast though their neighborhood. A man threw a rock at the vehicle. Neighbors told police the teen threatened to come back with an AK-47 assault rifle.

He came back with his father, police said. Police arrested the father, too, and alleged he threatened a different man with a hammer. The older Brokken has pleaded not guilty. He is scheduled to stand trial in late October.

Gun-pointing allegation leads to 30 days in jail

JUNEAU - A man charged with felony assault this spring after being accused of pointing a weapon at someone during a traffic dispute was ordered to serve 30 days in jail.

Jack Paine, 22, originally was charged with felony third-degree assault. Juneau Police arrested him after a March 31 incident in which a 16-year-old boy said he had been involved in a minor traffic dispute with a man who displayed a gun.

A short time later, officers arrested Paine, driving a Chrysler Sebring near 12th Street. Police found a BB gun that resembled an actual handgun in the vehicle.

Paine pleaded guilty to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault. Juneau Superior Court Judge Patricia Collins imposed 90 days in jail with 60 days suspended.

She also placed Paine on probation for two years, with a requirement that he complete 45 hours of community service and write a letter of apology.

Subsistence Board accepting proposals

JUNEAU - Subsistence hunters and trappers in the Tongass National Forest and other federal lands in Alaska can propose changes to their hunting and trapping regulations to the Federal Subsistence Board.

The Anchorage-based board is accepting proposals through 5 p.m. Oct. 22. Since 1980, Juneau and Ketchikan hunters have been excluded from participating in the federal subsistence program because they are classified as urban residents, said Robert Schroeder, Southeast coordinator for the subsistence program.

Subsistence hunting and trapping in Southeast Alaska is limited to the Tongass National Forest and the Glacier Bay National Preserve. The major species covered in the regulations include moose, deer, goat and bear.

To request a proposal form or for more information, contact Bill Knauer at the Office of Subsistence Management at 800-478-1456 or Bill_Knauer@fws.gov. Or, visit www.r7.fws.gov/asm/home.html. Forms can also be found in the current subsistence regulations book.

Fuel loans offer option to cash-strapped towns

ANCHORAGE - A new state program will provide an option for rural communities whose poor credit history has made them ineligible for state loans to buy winter heating oil and diesel fuel.

The new loan program pairs cash-strapped villages with regional partners that will ensure the loans are repaid.

If successful, the villages will get their fuel at the lowest prices and develop managerial skills to minimize future expenses, said Mike Black of the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.



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