Anchorage Labor Law Headed for Alaska Supreme Court

Union supporters rally in protest of AO37 outside an Assembly meeting in February. Photo by Daysha Eaton, KSKA - Anchorage.
Union supporters rally in protest of AO37 outside an Assembly meeting in February. Photo by Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage.

There’s been another twist in the saga of Anchorage’s controversial labor law.

It looks like the ordinance passed by the Anchorage Assembly earlier this year, is headed to the highest court in Alaska.

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Friday, the Municipality of Anchorage filed an appeal to the decision of a Superior Court judge allowing a referendum that would repeal the labor law, also known as AO-37, to go forward.

The law takes away municipal workers’ right to strike and restricts collective bargaining rights.

The Assembly passed it last March despite a public outcry.

City attorneys say the issue is administrative not legislative and should not be decided by voters. They also say only the Assembly has the authority to set labor relations and personnel rules.

Opponents of the labor law say the city charter supports the public’s right to reverse a decision made by the assembly via initiative.

Daysha Eaton is a contributor with the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Daysha Eaton holds a B.A. from Evergreen State College, and a M.A. from the University of Southern California. Daysha got her start in radio at Seattle public radio stations, KPLU and KUOW. Before coming to KBBI, she was the News Director at KYUK in Bethel. She has also worked as the Southcentral Reporter for KSKA in Anchorage.

Daysha's work has appeared on NPR's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered", PRI's "The World" and "National Native News". She's happy to take assignments, and to get news tips, which are best sent via email.

Daysha became a journalist because she believes in the power of storytelling. Stories connect us and they help us make sense of our world. They shed light on injustice and they comfort us in troubled times. She got into public broadcasting because it seems to fulfill the intention of the 4th Estate and to most effectively apply the freedom of the press granted to us through the Constitution. She feels that public radio has a special way of moving people emotionally through sound, taking them to remote places, introducing them to people they would not otherwise meet and compelling them to think about issues they might ordinarily overlook.

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