Labor agreements reached for thousands of state employees

Published 3:50 pm Friday, July 23, 2021

ST. PAUL — Thousands of state employees in Minnesota would get a raise and a new paid holiday if labor contract agreements are finalized.

Minnesota’s two biggest state employee unions on Thursday reached agreements with negotiators from Gov. Tim Walz’s administration. The contracts cover most of the state’s workforce and are subject to ratification by union members and the Legislature.

The Minnesota Management and Budget department says the agreements are confidential for now. But, the unions say the proposed contracts include a 2.5 percent base wage increase in each of the next two years, add Juneteenth as a paid holiday and hold health care premiums for employees stable, Minnesota Public Radio News reported.

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The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 5 includes more than 18,000 members who work in clerical positions, correctional facilities, maintenance roles and on road crews.

The Minnesota Association of Professional Employees represents about 15,000 members who include forensic scientists, health epidemiologists, computer technicians and treatment therapists.

Union members will voted on the agreements over the next six weeks. Then a joint House-Senate panel will consider whether to give them interim ratification ahead of a full vote by the Legislature next year.