State of Alaska Recognizes Local 71 Frontline Workers Added to Vaccine Eligibility



February 10, 2021

On February 1st, your Union contacted the State of Alaska requesting that our job classes be included in the schedule of immunizations in the interest of public safety. Today, they did just that.

While obtaining a vaccine remains an individual decision, as it should, our job classes are now expressly included in the schedule of eligibility under the category of frontline workers.

Press release: 

DHSS Eligibility Page: 

The website notes the following:

Frontline essential workers are defined as people who are working in sectors essential to the functioning of society and are at substantially higher risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 because their work-related duties must be performed on-site and involve being in close proximity (<6 feet) to the public or to coworkers.

Depending on your position represented by Local 71, you may qualify based on your work as or at:

  • Other first responders
  • Education: custodial, food, facilities
  • Transportation workers
  • Public Works & Infrastructure Support Service
  • Defense Industrial Base
  • Residential/Shelter Facilities
  • Acute Psychiatric Facilities
  • Correctional Facilities
  • Hygiene Products and Services
  • Provide essential services in a hospital, clinic, home, or community-based setting that cannot be offered remotely or performed via telework
  • Other Community or Government-Based Operations & Essential Functions

This recognition is one more step to acknowledging the importance of our essential work. Our frontline work requires that we show up. Our roads and airports require the highest level of care to keep Alaska moving. Our facilities, schools, and other facilities continue to need to be kept to the highest standards, and they don’t get sanitized from home. Telework, which has been a vital component of the pandemic response for so many, is not an option for the workers placed at risk every day providing the essential services represented by Local 71. Across Alaska, we are all relying on these workers to make our other essential services possible.

We are glad to see this response from our state administration agreeing that our essential workers who want to be vaccinated should be able to do so. This is one way of recognizing that Alaska depends on the work we do, and that the work we do is valued.

Thank you to all our members for your confidence in allowing us to represent you. We’ll keep doing all we can to represent you here at Public Employees Local 71.


Jordan A. Adams

Local 71 Business Manager, Secretary / Treasurer

Chair, Local 71 Health Trust