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State workers would get 2% pay raise under deal to end contract impasse

Jake Neher/ MPRN

A panel looking to end an impasse between the state and public employee unions is recommending a 2% pay increase for state workers. Under the proposal, many employees would likely have to pay more out-of-pocket for health insurance.

The panel released its recommendation after unions and the state failed to reach an agreement on a two-year contract.

“We did bargain together on this, we did work together, we just couldn’t get to a voluntary agreement,” said Kurt Weiss, spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget. “And so the governor continues to support this process where the Civil Service Commission will make a ruling.”

Unions had asked for a 3% pay increase starting in October of both 2014 and 2015. The state offered a 2% increase in 2014 and a 1% increase in 2015. The current proposal includes a 2% increase in both years, plus a 0.5% lump sum payment in the first year.

“I think the impasse panel did good work, and I think that we’re close to where we need to be,” said Weiss, who called the panel’s recommendation “reasonable.”

The state Civil Service Commission is expected to make a final decision on the proposal on December 18. State and union officials can ask the commission to make changes to the proposal before then.

Public employee unions did not respond to requests for comment.