Oct. 4 – MEA-MFT, AFSCME, and MPEA have sent an official demand to bargain to Governor Schweitzer regarding the state pay plan.
Following is the text of their joint letter to Gov. Schweitzer:
Governor Brian Schweitzer
Montana State Capitol
P.O. Box 200801
Helena, MT 59620-0801
Dear Governor Schweitzer:
As we all know well, the 2011 Montana State Legislature failed to take appropriate and timely action on HB 13. HB 13 contained base salary increases for state employees that we bargained with you and our members ratified.
In addition, by accident or design, the 2011 legislature periodically received erroneous revenue forecasts that seriously underestimated ongoing robust growth in Montana’s capacity to pay its valuable and committed state employees.
In short, the legislature failed to ratify an economic agreement that we now can say with clarity was way short of its capacity to pay.
It is our position that since the legislature failed to adopt HB 13, there is no economic agreement for the current biennium. Consequently, we believe the State of Montana and state employee unions should jointly comply with the policy of this state and return to the bargaining table to negotiate a pay plan.
Please consider this letter a demand to bargain. And please respond in a timely fashion with a list of proposed bargaining dates.