Alaska ferry workers approve new contract

The ferry Malaspina awaits passengers at Juneau's Auke Bay. (Photo by Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska)

The ferry Malaspina awaits passengers at Juneau’s Auke Bay. (Photo by Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska)

Members of the largest union representing Alaska Marine Highway System workers have approved a new contract with the state.

The Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific represents about 650 state ferry workers, including unlicensed deck crew, stewards and pursers. Just over half of members voted on the tentative agreement, according to an announcement on the union’s website. Nearly 80 percent voted to approve the contract.

The three-year deal is retroactive to July 1. It does not include a pay increase this year. Workers will receive a 1 percent raise next year and a 2 percent increase in 2016.

Earlier this month, the International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots rejected a similar offer from the state. Negotiators from both sides are in the process of deciding how to move forward. MMP represents the licensed captains and officers who navigate state ferries.

A third union representing Alaska ferry workers, the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association, has yet to vote on its tentative contract agreement.

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