State Workers Vote Unanimously In Favor of Raises

Contracts were passed almost unanimously by union workers

Union Contracts
Union Contracts

The Minnesota Association of Professional Employees (MAPE) and AFSCME Council 5  reached an agreement on two-year contracts for 30,000 workers employed by the state of Minnesota.

Both groups received wide support for the agreement amongst their respective constituencies. In a joint press release it was confirmed that 98 percent of the workers from MAPE ratified the agreement, while 95 percent of the workers associated from AFSCME ratified it. The votes for these groups were counted on Aug. 14.

The agreement said there would be a two percent raise retroactive to July 1, 2017, and a 2.25 percent raise on July 1, 2018.  It also included six weeks of paid parental leave. Lower than expected health care cost has allowed the two unions to cut costs on their healthcare.

According to a press release, the chief negotiator for AFSCME Council 5, Tim Henderson, said, “The employer didn’t get everything it wanted – and our union didn’t get everything we wanted.  But this is a fair deal for hard working state employees and Minnesota taxpayers. Union members are relieved to have a new contract and they’re proud to do Minnesota’s work.”

“We were able to reach key agreements on paid parental leave, professional development and other items necessary to build a 21st century workforce which, in turn, will help the state recruit and retain the next generation of public servants,” said MAPE President Chet Jorgenson.

Now that the contract has been tentatively agreed upon by members of the unions, the Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) will forward it to the Subcommittee on Employee Relations (SER). Once the official filing by MMB occurs, SER will have 30 business days in which to deliberate on the new contract. The contract requires a majority vote to be approved. In the case SER doesn’t approve the new contracts, the unions will continue to operate under the 2015-2017 contracts until the legislature reconvenes next year.

Henry Carras