Minn. lawmakers endorse new state worker contracts

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Two-year contracts with raises of three percent or more for Minnesota state government workers are now in force.

On a party-line vote Friday, a Democratic-led panel approved a set of deals, most involving public employee unions. The agreements take effect pending a vote by the full Legislature next year.

Officials from Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration say the pay increases are needed to recruit and retain qualified employees who can make more elsewhere.

But Republicans on the Subcommittee on Employee Relations labeled them too generous. Some employees will be eligible for performance pay bumps in addition to the across-the-board three percent raises in each of the next two years. Democrats countered that public sector pay has lagged.

The agreements require workers to pay more for their health insurance beginning in 2015.

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