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Tentative Pay Raise Negotiated for State Employees

Photo courtesy of CarbonNYC/Flickr
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s administration and labor unions have negotiated a 10 percent pay raise for state workers over the next two years. But there’s a catch: The deal must be approved by legislators who won’t meet until the lame-duck Democratic governor has left office.

Public employee unions announced the deal Monday. Lee Newspapers of Montana reports the agreement also would increase the state’s share of employees’ health insurance premiums by 10 percent in each of the next two years.

The deal would affect between 15,000 and 16,000 employees. Budget Director Dan Villa says the total cost would be $138 million.

The proposal will go to the 2013 Legislature after the term-limited Schweitzer leaves office.

Last year, the Republican-controlled Legislature refused to pass a smaller raise that had been negotiated.

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