About 30,000 public service workers in Minnesota are getting pay hikes now that Gov. Mark Dayton has signed a state employee contracts bill into law.
The workers will get a 2 percent raise retroactive to July 1, 2017, and 2.25 percent on July 1, 2018, plus step increases for both years. Those workers include the AFSCME Council 5 multi-unit, Unit 8 (corrections) and Unit 25 (radio communication operators).
Both chambers of the Minnesota Legislature approved the two-year contracts for state public workers earlier this year.
The contract not only holds the line on health insurance costs for workers, it improves health and dental benefits; includes a pilot program for people with diabetes; and offers six weeks of paid parental leave to bond with newborn and adopted children.
Last fall, the contracts stalled after Republicans on the Subcommittee on Employee Relations recommended that the Legislature reject the multi-unit contracts as being too expensive.
The Minnesota Senate also approved a plan unanimously earlier this year to make public employee pensions sustainable for decades through shared sacrifice and responsibility by the employer, workers and retirees. The House did not act.
The Minnesota Management and Budget commissioner warned in a recent hearing that delaying full funding for pensions could hurt the state’s bond ratings and cost more in the long run.