MEA-MFT endorses Steve Bullock for governor
For immediate release: January 5, 2016
Contact: Eric Feaver, MEA-MFT President, 406-442-4250
Montana’s largest labor union endorses Steve Bullock for governor
MEA-MFT, Montana’s largest labor union, has announced that its Committee On Political Education (COPE) has endorsed Steve Bullock for re-election as Montana’s governor in the 2016 election.
MEA-MFT is 18,000 Montana employees working in state and local government, k-12 public schools, Montana university system, Head Start, and private sector health care.
The 34 members of MEA-MFT’s Committee On Political Education (COPE) live and work across the state and represent all of MEA-MFT’s membership groups. They include Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. COPE members endorsed Bullock after an extensive candidate interview.
“Our COPE members unanimously agree that Steve Bullock has done an excellent job as governor and has earned another term,” said MEA-MFT President Eric Feaver.
“Governor Bullock worked as well as any governor could with the last two legislatures. As a result, he can point to remarkable achievements. Good for the folks MEA-MFT represents. Good for all Montanans. For instance, during his watch and under his leadership:
• The 2015 legislature adopted Medicaid Expansion, making health care available to tens of thousands of Montanans who previously fell through the cracks.
• The 2013 legislature amortized and saved teacher and public employee pensions in a fair and sustainable way for both employees and taxpayers.
• The last two legislatures have adopted increases in correctional officer pay to help us recruit and retain quality employees for a difficult, dangerous job.
• And despite worrisome angst and delay, the last two legislatures have ratified state employee pay plans negotiated between the governor’s office and Montana’s state employee unions, including MEA-MFT.
• Not to go unnoticed, under the governor’s leadership, the last two legislatures have invested unprecedented new dollars in k-12 elementary and secondary public schools and frozen tuitions to various public institutions of higher education.”
In addition, Feaver said, “Governor Bullock’s labor credentials are impeccable. He knows the middle class cannot survive without employees exercising the right to organize and bargain collectively. He believes so-called “right-to-work” serves no useful purpose. Governor Bullock knows public and private sector unions helped build Montana and are here to stay.
“But Governor Bullock would never say his work is done and he can just go rest for the next four years. In addition to enhancing what he has already achieved, he has serious matters yet to address. The next legislature absolutely must ramp up infrastructure investment in communities large and small all across Montana; provide greater mental health treatment and security; significantly grow state funding of our university system including more scholarship opportunities for Montana high school graduates; and establish free, quality, public early childhood education for all those who need it, who want it.”
MEA-MFT represents 18,000 k-12 teachers and school support staff, Head Start employees, state and county employees, university faculty, and private-sector health care providers working in communities all across Montana. MEA-MFT is a merged affiliate of the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers and is the largest affiliate of the Montana State AFL-CIO.