MAPE holds firm for fair wages amid contract negotiations

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As contract negotiations intensify, MAPE remains firm in advocating for a fair wage increase for state employees. Despite a record budget surplus and historic inflation levels, Minnesota Management and Budget’s (MMB) recent wage increase proposal fell far short of MAPE’s 10%/10% two-year wage increase request. Instead, MMB offered an increase of 2% in the first year, followed by a meager 1.5% in the second year. This proposition was met with strong disappointment during the last contract bargaining session on May 23-24. 

Negotiations team

“MMB’s offer is disappointing and downright disrespectful. In a time of historic inflation and a record surplus, MMB is proposing to leave workers behind again. We are already two decades behind where we should be,” Negotiations Committee Co-Chair Adam Novotny said.  

Kristin Kirchoff-Franklin, co-Chair of the Negotiations Committee added, “While top officials and legislators are poised to receive raises this year, we must not forget the tireless efforts of the dedicated state employees serving across Minnesota. They deserve just as much recognition.” 

Despite the discord, MAPE remains committed to seeking a fair resolution, even in the face of what MAPE President Megan Dayton describes as MMB’s intentional misinterpretation of MAPE’s proposals. “It’s disappointing that we’re still arguing about common-sense initiatives that help to create a forward-thinking workplace. The continued lack of understanding from MMB is both offensive and absurd," Dayton said. 

MAPE negotiators met face-to-face with their MMB counterparts for the first time on April 11 with Gov. Tim Walz present to hear MAPE’s presentation. MAPE presented nine proposals and MMB had 105. 

MAPE made bargaining progress on two of its priorities resulting in the expansion of the definition of family and moving the student loan pilot into the main contract. But most of the union’s priorities, including telework and meal reimbursements, remain unresolved.  

“Despite these challenges, the lack of respect only fuels our determination to secure the contract our members deserve. We truly believe our proposals will not only benefit our members but also enhance the State as an employer,” Dayton added. “I began state service in 2012 and every year I’ve seen our benefits and purchasing power decline.”  

MAPE is hosting a virtual Negotiations Townhall on Wednesday, May 31, at 12 p.m. to update you on contract bargaining. You’ll learn about next steps and what you can do to help fight for competitive wages, affordable health care, telework and other proposals.