Alaska Unions laws & HR compliance analysis

Alaska Unions: What you need to know

Protection is given to labor organizations in the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), the federal law governing labor unions; as a result, states have very little regulatory control over unions. The NLRA “preempts” all state laws that attempt to regulate unions; that is, it overrides state law in the areas that it covers, which include almost all types of private employment. However, in the areas it does not cover, such as the rights of farm workers and employees of businesses that do not engage in interstate commerce, the states are free to make their own provisions.
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The federal labor law leaves to the states all questions involving the unionization of public employees. Public employees in Alaska have the right to organize and bargain collectively as authorized by the Alaska Public Employment Relations Act (AK Stat. Sec. 23.40.070et seq.). The Act gives public employees the right to self-organize and form, join, or assist an organization to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and engage in concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection (AK Stat. Sec. 23.40.080). Any impasse reached by public employers and their employees may be sent to mediation; if mediation fails, the matter may be sent to arbitration. Alaska law prohibits strikes by police, fire department, correctional, and hospital employees because of the importance of their jobs. Public utility, snow removal, and public school employees may strike for a limited period of time, but only after participating in alternative dispute resolution. Other public employees may strike if a majority of employees in the bargaining unit vote to do so by ...

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