The vote is in: MEA-MFT’s state employee members have ratified the state employee pay plan agreement by a whopping margin.
The pay plan agreement was reached November 6 by the team representing Montana’s state employee unions and Governor Bullock’s office.
The unions’ team included members of MEA-MFT, MPEA, and AFSCME. Around 50 union members participated in the negotiations, which took place over several months.
Ratification ballots were mailed to state employee members of all three unions in November. Votes were counted December 18, and the agreement was ratified overwhelmingly.
The pay plan calls for:
• Fifty cents per hour ($1,040 per year) increase in base pay for all state employees beginning October 2015, and another beginning October 2016. That’s a total $2,080 increase in base pay.
• Increases of about $89 per month ($1,068 per year) in our employer’s contribution to our monthly health insurance premiums in 2016, and $78 per month ($936 per year) in 2017.
• Meaningful discussion about inequities in the state’s current broadband pay system.
“I’m very proud of our bargaining team; they did a great job,” said MEA-MFT Field Consultant Larry Nielsen.
“The heavy lifting begins in January as we begin to work with the legislature. We’ll need all our state employee members to get involved.”
Not a done deal: your action needed!
The next step is getting our legislators to support and vote for the pay plan. The three unions will work with Governor Bullock’s office to get the pay plan (now in House Bill 13) passed through the 2015 Montana Legislature, which convenes January 5.
Because of low voter turnout in Montana’s fall election, we face a difficult legislature. We’ll have to work harder than ever to educate our legislators about the work we do—work that matters, work that improves Montana.
We each must talk with our legislators about why our pay plan is important to us, why it will strengthen our communities and local economies, and why it will continue to improve our state.
We can do it! If everyone gets involved, we can get this pay plan passed.
What you can do
1. Participate in our union Days of Action at the state capitol in Helena. Mark your calendar and look for more information!
• Monday, January 19 (Martin Luther King Day)
• Monday, February 16 (Presidents Day)
2. Help spread the word about the pay plan with your co-workers.
3. Watch for action alerts from our union, MEA-MFT, and get ready to contact your legislators when asked to do so. It’s easy and it makes a difference!