Bill would cut Alaska ferry workers’ salaries

JUNEAU (AP) — A bill pending in the Alaska Senate would strip state ferry workers of their cost-of-living adjustment.

The Alaska Public Radio Network reports the sponsor of the bill, Sen. Fred Dyson, R-Eagle River, has said his goal is to get ferry workers in line with the rest of state government.

The bill comes as the marine transportation unions are negotiating contracts for the next three years. If the bill passes before an agreement is reached, Alaska workers could lose $8 million in wages, according to the bill’s fiscal note.

The Alaska Marine Highway System is the only branch of state government that sets its minimum salary on Seattle’s cost of living. Alaska employees receive a cost-of-living differential.