Letter: Urge senators to oppose SB 182, which cuts pay for ferry workers

I live in Haines and work for the Alaska Marine Highway. I am extremely concerned about the state Legislature’s attack on our Cost of Living Differential payments with Senate Bill 182. COLD payments reflect the difference in the cost of living between Alaska and Seattle. Employees must prove their residence in Alaska and maintain that residence to receive these payments. The state says it wants to eliminate these payments because it costs too much to investigate residency fraud. Excuse me? I find it interesting this bill is being considered at the same time we are negotiating a new contract.

I make $23 an hour. It has taken me seven years to get to this pay scale. Taking away that payment will cost me approximately $672 per month. Could you afford such a pay cut? 

The price of gasoline here is $4.43 per gallon. Heating fuel is $4.22 per gallon. I cannot absorb such a cut and maintain my current lifestyle. 

Please contact your senators. Urge them to oppose SB 182.

— Adrianne Milos

Haines