Posted: Mar 28, 2013 1:31 PM by Marnee Banks - MTN News
HELENA - The Montana House of Representatives decided to give state workers a raise on Wednesday, but it's not exactly what the unions had negotiated.
Gov. Brian Schweitzer had previously negotiated a 5% annual raise for state workers in 2014 and 2015. But the Republican-controlled Legislature rejected this proposal because it said the Schweitzer administration handed out raises to a select group of state employees and giving them across the board raises wouldn't be fair.
State workers and union leaders lined the halls asking lawmakers to support House Bill 13.
They amended House Bill 13 to allow the Bullock Administration to hand out pay increases to those who haven't had raises.
"Although this bill is a little disappointing because it's no longer the original script, the time has come to act on it and show all involved that we indeed are acting in good faith," said Rep. Kathy Swanson (D-Anaconda).
Thirty one representatives voted against the raises, saying people in the private sector are still struggling and these raises cost too much.
The bill must clear one more procedural vote before moving onto the Senate.