Ferry unions agree to tentative contracts

All three Alaska ferry unions now have tentative labor agreements with the Murkowski administration.

Officials with the Inlandboatman’s Union and the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association confirm that the proposed terms of the three-year contract include pay raises of 7% the first year and 6% each of the following two years. The contract also releases service to the small outlying communities from union jurisdiction.

A similar deal is said to have been agreed to in concept with Masters Mates and Pilots.

The contracts still must be ratified by members and approved by the legislature but ultimately, state negotiators say, the aim is to provide better service at a lower price. And no one is quite sure yet how to pull that off. Anne Sutton has more.

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