Arbitration planned over Alaska work space standards

JUNEAU, Alaska — Alaska’s largest public employees’ union will enter arbitration with the Parnell administration over new standards for office space.

But KTOO reports it’s not clear when talks might begin or resolution will be reached.

The executive director of the Alaska State Employees Union, Jim Duncan, says members deserve to have their issues heard in a timely manner. He says next August, as the state has suggested, isn’t acceptable.

The union filed a grievance over state office standards that it believes drastically change the work environment. Duncan says the state didn’t negotiate with the union before implementing the standards, violating the collective bargaining agreement.

Deputy commissioner of Administration Curtis Thayer says the state has never bargained over space standards and management has always had the right to establish the working environment.

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