Schweitzer Administration Emphasizes Pay Freeze

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s administration says a new memo to state agencies on freezing pay for employees does not expand earlier negotiations on the subject.

Earlier this year, the administration hashed out a contract with unions that offers a small stipend for lower-paid workers but freezes wages across the board.

A memo sent out this week by Department of Administration Director Janet Kelly says that the “governor has now taken the additional step of freezing state employees’ pay effective immediately.”

But Budget Director David Ewer says there is no additional freeze or cost-savings. He says the memo was meant to clarify that the pay freeze policy means there will be no merit-based or “market” adjustment for employees either.

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