Updated 7:20 p.m. July 5:
Wrangell officials have pulled out of contact talks with the union representing municipal workers.
Interim Borough Manager Carol Rushmore posted a letter on the municipal website Wednesday evening stating she had decided to not accept the union’s most recent proposal.
She added that the borough would not make any counteroffers to International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers members.
That could lead them to go back on strike.
Rushmore wrote “I cannot in good conscience submit the union’s demands for Assembly review when I feel it threatens the financial future and the sustainability of the community.”
Twenty-four utility and other workers went on strike June 22 after the union and municipality rejected each other’s final contract offers. Another 35 management and non-union employees remained on the job.
Officials from the borough and the union resumed negotiations June 29.
Earlier Wednesday, Rushmore and the IBEW said both parties were still at the table.
Union Communications Director Melinda Taylor said the IBEW has requested an immediate meeting with the borough to resolve the issue.
The previous labor contract expired three years ago.
Posted earlier Wednesday:
Municipal employees’ contract talks continue in Wrangell.
Officials from the Southeast Alaska borough and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers resumed negotiations June 29.
The IBEW and borough on Wednesday confirmed both parties are still at the table.
Utility and other workers went on strike June 22 after the union and municipality rejected each other’s final contract offers. The 24 employees have been without a contract for three years.
The main difference is a wage increase. The borough offered 75 cents an hour, while the union proposed $2.50 an hour.
The borough has said it can’t afford more than it offered. The union said its proposal would make up for increases in health-insurance costs.