Preliminary results show Seward opting in to PERA

Results won’t be official until the canvass board meets on Thursday

The city of Seward narrowly approved the Public Employment Relations Act (PERA) at the polls on Tuesday, but absentee and questioned ballots could change the results.

Preliminary results show 129 votes in favor of PERA to 107 “no” votes. With 47 absentee and five questioned ballots, results won’t be official until the canvass board meets on Thursday, March 21 at 1 p.m. in the council chambers.

Currently, the Seward City Council has control over the city’s labor policy, including employee organizing activity.

If the election results hold, an ordinance exempting Seward from PERA would be repealed and the act would be implemented in the city. PERA’s role in Alaska employee relations is to protect the organizing and bargaining rights of public employees, unions and employers, according to the Alaska Labor Relations Agency, the agency responsible for implementing the act.

Official election results will be presented to Seward City Council on March 26.

Reach Kat Sorensen at ksorensen@peninsulaclarion.com.

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