Opinion: In support of SEACC United.

A strong SEACC benefits everyone.

  • By Guy Archibald
  • Wednesday, December 28, 2022 12:50pm
  • Opinion

The employees of the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council have created a union to improve working conditions at the organization. I worked for SEACC for 11-plus years and understand the need for union representation to protect the health of the employees. I ask that everyone in Southeast Alaska support this effort. A strong SEACC benefits everyone.

The primary reason an employee joins a union is because the employer has failed to address bad working conditions and does not respond to employee concerns. For the first six years at SEACC, I enjoyed my work and by all measures was successful.

That changed when a new executive director took over. I lost all voice in how I was to do my job, was belittled for being a “Boomer,” successes went unacknowledged, ideas and suggestions based on decades of experience were ignored and any dissenting opinions were dealt with harshly, including threats to my continued employment.

The new executive director seemed to gain a greater degree of authority in dealing with employees. Communication between employees and the board was forbidden outside the executive director’s presence. Communications in the executive director’s presence had to be pre-approved. When one person has total, unchecked control over another group of people, only bad things happen. I had no where to turn, so I resigned from a job I still love.

Numerous studies have found that workers in high-stress jobs with low employee control (as measured by latitude over decisions) reported significantly more exhaustion after work, trouble sleeping, depression, nervousness, and anxiety. When workers facing high demands had more control over their job performance, their stress was lower. This may account for the staff turn-over since the new executive director was hired.

In my 41 years in the workforce, I have worked under a wide range of supervisors. I respect their authority and decision-making. In this case, that respect was not reciprocated. I am not a disgruntled ex-employee. I am speaking out because a strong functional SEACC is a necessary part of Southeast Alaska. I want to see the organization successful and doing what it does best, protection of the special places that benefit all who live in southeast Alaska and enjoy its unique lifestyle.

• Guy Archibald worked for Southeast Alaska Conservation Council for over a decade. He resides in Juneau. Columns, My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire. Have something to say? Here’s how to submit a My Turn or letter.

More in Opinion

Have something to say?

Here’s how to add your voice to the conversation.

U.S. Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka and former President Donald Trump stand on stage during a July 2022 rally in Anchorage. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Tshibaka’s insincere defense of democracy

Kelly Tshibaka claims to understand why voter turnout for the 2022 general… Continue reading

(Courtesy Photo / Gwen Baluss)
Opinion: The Mendenhall Wetlands — a Juneau treasure

Juneau is very fortunate to have this rich biological resource…

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski prepares to meet officials at the Sealaska Heritage Institute during a visit to Juneau in November 2022. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire File)
Juneau stands to benefit significantly from the 117th Congress

The last Congress was one of the best for our state in recent memory…

Opinion: Humanism and the billionaire class

Compromise is the right thing to do and they should do it.

Alexander B. Dolitsky
Opinion: Neo-Marxism is a threat to the country

In the early 1980s, I attended graduate school at Brown University. Then,… Continue reading

(Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
The problem with ‘Always Fighting’

What about “Always Thinking” or “Always Working” or just “Always Building Coalitions for Alaska.”

(Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: A million visitors isn’t enough. Here’s why

I’ve been thinking about Pat White’s recent My Turn, Is anyone else… Continue reading

The challenged truths of three elected representatives

Last Friday, the state Supreme Court affirmed that state Rep. Jennifer Armstrong,… Continue reading

Most Read