Art Chance: The AFL-CIO is trying to rob its members of the biggest pay raise they have ever seen — a full PFD



“We do want more, and when it becomes more, we shall still want more.   And we shall never cease to demand more until we have received the results of our labor.”   Samuel Gompers, President, American Federation of Labor (1919)

I can do wordy and pedantic with the best of them, but I’m going to try to make this short and maybe not so sweet.  

The goons with the AFL-CIO are warning the members of the House Majority to shut up and vote against a $5,500 statutory Permanent Fund Dividend and energy assistance payment because it might cause the plebes to have unrealistic expectations. What arrogance.

Read: AFL-CIO strong-arming House to vote against full dividend

Those of us who know a bit about State government know there are four rackets who believe that all the General Fund revenue of the State belongs to them: unionized State employees, the education racket, the welfare racket, and the healthcare racket. The plebes can get any scraps that are left over.

The State government has about 16,000 unionized employees, and all but a few hundred correctional officers are in AFL-CIO-affiliated unions. Those unions have a legal duty to represent the employees in their bargaining units in matters of wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment.

Now the goons who are supposed to represent those employees are telling their chattel in the Legislature to vote against the statutory Permanent Fund Dividend and the energy stipend. Remember, these goons are supposed to work to improve the wages of the employees they represent.

The average wage of a State employee is around $75,000 per year. The statutory Permanent Fund dividend and the energy stipend is $5,500. That PFD and stipend represents about a 7% wage increase for an average employee. If you’re a $30,000 per year clerk or other entry-level employee, the ones who could most use the money, it is over twice that percentage wage increase.

So, in order to assure their control over the Operating Budget and the votes of the state representatives they own, the union goons are ordering the chattel representatives to vote against giving the employees they represent a significant raise.

I was a part of negotiating every State employee labor agreement between 1987 and 2006. The most money I or anybody who worked with or for me ever put on the table in those years was the 6.5% I offered the Marine Engineers to buy back some serious restrictions on management rights that the Sheffield Administration had given them years before.

In order to maintain their power over their chattel legislators, and maybe cow some wavering ones, the union goons have ordered the union-owned members of the Legislature to refuse to give even their own members the largest raise State employees have ever seen.

Power corrupts. Were I still a State employee I might have a serious issue with my union; whose side are they on?

Art Chance is a retired Director of Labor Relations for the State of Alaska, formerly of Juneau and now living in Anchorage. He is the author of the book, “Red on Blue, Establishing a Republican Governance,” available at Amazon. 


  1. They are only on their own side Art – the labor leaders, not the rank and file. This is all about power and demanding another big fat raise next year – in an environment that might not support it without tapping the Permanent Fund core. I see a rather hypocritical helicopter hair hissy fit screaming “greedy and entitled”… I agree Art – their PFD is more than they would likely get as a pay raise and it makes no sense whatsoever to demand that raise at the expense of the PFD.

  2. The goons with the AFL-CIO, Art, are NOT about the affiliation, nor its members, for they are nothing to the goons, except as mindless voters.

    The goons with the AFL-CIO are only concerned with their own power and payment, and only act within the constricts of those benefits unto said goons…and yet, and yet, so many of their disciples shall follow them even though said following shall be detrimental unto them…go figure…

  3. Alaska’s Correctional Officers are not affiliated with AFL-CIO, but have their own, independent association (ACOA, The Alaska Correctional Officers Association).

  4. Let the SOA nullify all existing AFL-CIO labor contracts and pay what the legislature deems to be an appropriate benefits package for a fiscally responsible budget. This is what this communist organization wants for Alaskans PFD’s. A reduced amount as per the whims of the Alaska legislature and not the agreement made with the citizens of Alaska for paying out the PFD when it was originally enacted. All Alaskans are struggling at this time and you can thank the AFL.CIO’s endorsed Biden administration and its failed policies for this miserable Economy

    • You do understand economics right? Moneys in the hands of private citizens turns over between 4-6 times, which generates economic growth. Moneys in the hand of Government turns over 1 to 2 times at best, resulting in no growth or a stale economy. I will go with the money is better off in the hands of the public.

    • A rainy day, are you completely tone deaf, or just ignorant? The past few years of the Covid pandemic severely damaged the private sector. The folks that don’t have state or fed employment didn’t get paid to sit on their asses and stay home. We lost all income, that meant no mortgage payments, utility payments, or groceries.
      I suggest that if you don’t want your PFD, you can always not file for one, or just return it to the state.

  5. The AFL-CIO leadership would love to take credit for a $5,500 bonus to their members, but since they can’t they HAVE to be against it, even though that position hurts the rank & file.

  6. Art,
    This is nothing new. The guys at the top of the union food chain (the goons) have been cheating and stealing from their supposed union brothers and sisters since unions were conceived as organizations.

    • You are SO correct, sir! I read a great historical and well researched article about the creation of unions.
      The business owners had infiltrators even way back then. Of course they made concessions after a lot of violence and destruction was going on, but to say that “unions USED to be good and now they aren’t” is seriously naive.

  7. All I know is that I predict not only a great recession, but a Great Depression. If legislators don’t follow the law and provide a full PFD, then they’d better be supplying the coffers of welfare or be prepared to watch people freeze to death. We have an idiot for a president who seems to have no qualms about watching his citizens suffer and die.

  8. Alaskans who earn in the range of about $40K to $86K are in a 22 percent tax bracket- so about $1,200 to $1,300 of the proposed dividend will go to the IRS. That becomes a fairly substantial transfer of Permanent Fund dollars to the federal government in the aggregate.

    Growing the corpus of the fund is tax free. A bigger corpus ultimately makes for better, more stable dividends for Alaskans.

    This would require legislators who are wise enough to be thinking strategically. What is the best call for the long term interests of Alaskans?

    • Because the Trump tax relief bill doubled the standard deduction, those in the lower range you cite will likely not have a tax burden because of the proposed PFD, and more likely will receive a refund.

  9. An oath to obey the corporate bylaws (statutory PFD distribution is nothing but a corporate bylaw) and is on file. The stipend-receiver receives a very generous remuneration from public trust funds to obey the corporate organization bylaws. I believe stipend receivers are swindling the public. Why has this not been explained to them? Lawyers advising otherwise I believe should not practice law in this state nor should they be paid advocates. ?

  10. PFD………BFD. The money has been nice, but if it all goes away tomorrow, I’d be as happy as I was before Big Oil because all these wolves would fly out of here as if their tails were on fire, headed to the next Big Money Hunting Grounds. Austin TX, maybe? It would be a great place for them……5000 miles from here. Imagine Alaska with a population of under 400,000 again. Yeah, burn that stinking money.

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