Members ratify 2019-2021 contract
MAPE members overwhelmingly approved their 2019-2021 proposed contract. The proposed agreement was approved by more than 94 percent of members voting.
“I am really pleased to see how much support this contract got from members who took the time to review it and vote on it. To me, this support is a reflection of our early and regular focus on member engagement in that our members clearly saw what they cared about echoed in our priorities and our wins at the bargaining table,” Negotiations Committee Co-chair Maggie Dreon said.
“I’m really proud of all of the work the Negotiations Committee did – they bargained for every dime they could, and members recognize this and voted to ratify the contract,” MAPE President Chet Jorgenson said.
The MAPE bargaining team negotiated higher wages than in the last contract and successfully fought back an additional $100 million in health care costs while making improvements to the dental plan and developing a new optional vision plan. Despite soaring care costs nationwide, negotiators were able to keep member out-of-pocket and co-pays for office visits and prescriptions at or below market value increases for these services. Compared to other government plans in and around Minnesota, the State Employee Group Insurance Program (SEGIP) is one of the best around.
In addition, agencies will now have the option of offering student loan payment reimbursement, phased retirement has been extended, additional pay grids for Information Technology Specialists positions have been added, bereavement and sick leave policies have been expanded and the employer has agreed to simplify its classification system and work with members to address gaps in clarity and continued improvements.
“We’re stronger together, and together we can fight for clear career paths and continued opportunity for our members. There will be other opportunities to continue to build on our progress toward fair compensation, an equitable workplace and a better Minnesota,” Negotiations Committee Co-chair Lynn Butcher said.
Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) will review the approved agreement before forwarding it to the Subcommittee on Employee Relations (SER), which will make a recommendation to the Legislature on whether to approve the contract.
If SER chooses to act, it must do so within 30 days of official filing from MMB, which typically can be 30-60 days from the time voting ends. By majority vote, SER can vote to approve or not approve the contract on an interim basis. If SER has a tie vote or does not act, the contract goes into effect on an interim basis. The Legislature then must approve the contract during the 2020 Legislative Session for the contract to take permanent effect. If SER votes down the contract, employees will continue to operate under the terms of their 2017-2019 contract until the Legislature acts next year.
Once approved, MAPE’s 15,000 employees will receive wage increases of 2.25 percent the first year and 2.5 percent the second year, retroactive to July 1, 2019. Step increases will also be available for qualified employees.
We will continue to meet with legislators and share personal stories and talk about the work we do, and the services we provide, for our fellow Minnesotans. MAPE is working to set up constituent meetings with SER members to talk about the contract and urge their approval. We will need your participation in the in-district meetings and during the SER hearing, so check back to see how you can help finalize our contract.