State Employee Unions File Appeal in Pay Dispute

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – State employee unions are filing an appeal in their ongoing case alleging an unfair labor practice charge against the Legislature.

A recommended decision in front of the Board of Personnel Appeals goes against the unions. It says a labor deal negotiated between the governor’s office and state employee unions was contingent upon legislative approval, which did not happen.

The unions argue that last week’s recommended decision is flawed. They say the Legislature failed to negotiate in good faith earlier this year when it turned its back on the negotiating process and ordered a pay freeze.

The unions also on Tuesday asked Gov. Brian Schweitzer to re-open negotiations, arguing there is no negotiated deal since the Legislature rejected the prior agreement.

The governor’s office says it is reviewing the request.

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