ANCHORAGE, Alaska — If the Alaska State Legislature fails to produce a budget by July 1, the state will shut down, leaving tens of thousands of residents without the services they need and 19,000 state workers without jobs.
Members of ASEA/AFSCME Local 52 have a simple message for legislators: Do your job, so we can do ours. To punctuate their point, AFSCME members recently delivered symbolic pink slips to Alaska lawmakers.
Every day, Alaska state employees report to work because they know their neighbors are counting on them. They care for the elderly, maintain the state’s natural resources, help residents find jobs and do so much more for their communities.
"We perform jobs that are necessary to keep the state functioning," said Kirsa Hughes-Skandijs, a Department of Labor employee who analyzes data that’s ultimately used to create safer workplaces. “This would not only be an economic hit to our communities, there would be an immediate loss of services."
Hughes-Skandijs was part of a delegation of AFSCME members who delivered a petition in the form of a pink slip to Senate President Pete Kelly on June 13. More than 1,600 state employees and residents signed the petition in less than two weeks.