State unions file unfair labor practice charge


HELENA — State employee unions are filing an unfair labor practice charge against state in the wake of the Legislature's rejection of a deal negotiated with the governor.

MEA-MFT union leader Eric Feaver says he hopes the actions lead to new negotiations with the governor, an even better pay raise than employees first sought and a special session of the Legislature forcing lawmakers to ratify the new deal.

The charge will launch an investigation by a hearings officer at the Montana Department of Labor and a decision by the Board of Personnel Appeals that could be appealed to court by either side.

The Republican-led Legislature last month rejected the pay increase of 1 percent in 2012 and 3 percent in 2013 for state employees that would have cost the state about $21 million.


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