Pay plan TABLED!
Mar. 23 - At 4:00 p.m. yesterday , the majority on the House Appropriations Committee TABLED HB 13 (Hiner) – state employee pay plan, refusing to let the full House consider the plan's modest 1 percent increase in January 2012 and 3 percent in January 2013.
The voting record is below. More than ever, we need to have members and everyone else we know who supports public employees and public services and who doesn't.
And more than ever, we need you to come to the No Fooling With our Future Rally April 1!
Today, Rep. Cindy Hiner will rise on the House floor and move to take HB 13 from the Appropriations Committee table and place it on 2d reading in the House.
A motion to “blast” a bill out of a House committee requires 60 votes. But, we will get folks on the voting record and work from there.
If you contact House members on this issue, your contact should be of the highest, most professional quality. When you e-mail or call and leave a message, it really is best to simply state: “State employees deserve a raise. They are living through a two-year pay freeze going on three. State employees have helped this state through its fiscal difficulties. They have earned a modest pay increase for the next biennium that doesn’t even include an increase in state contributions to the state employee health care plan. The money is there. I urge you to support all motions necessary to pass HB 13.”
We do not know the final outcome, but we are confident we will eventually achieve the modest pay increases embraced in HB 13.
At the committee hearing yesterday, Rep. Galen Hollengaugh D-Helena said, "We keep asking our public servants to do more and more while eliminating positions. When you it make it harder to recruit and retain the best employees, you shortchange Montana's businesses and families that rely on efficient state services."
Last session, state employees agreed to a pay freeze to help the state weather the Great Recession. Now that the state and national economies are recovering, the governor signed an agreement with public employees' three unions, MEA-MFT, MPEA, and AFSCME, to give state employees the modest pay bump.
"The majority of public employees are spread across of the state," said Rep. Cindy Hiner, D-Deer Lodge. "Communities all over the state suffer when we don't pay our public servants a decent wage."
If the legislature takes no action to revive HB13 or incorporate the signed agreement into another bill, public employees wages will remain frozen. Failure to fund the 1 and 3 percent raises would mark the first time the legislature has refused to appropriate money for the legally negotiated agreement between the governor and the unions.
"State workers had a pay freeze last session, and for two years, most state workers have had increased workloads as they helped Montanans through the recession,"said Rep. Chuck Hunter, D-Helena. "These are the public servants who kept our communities safe, educated our children, and helped families enroll in vital programs like Healthy Montana Kids and Big Sky Rx. Ourstate employees deserve better."
HB13 failed on a 9 to 12 vote, with Reps. Steve Gibson, R-Helena, and Duane Ankney, R-Colstrip, joining the committee's seven Democrats in support of the pay plan. Thank you to all those who voted in support!
Read newspaper story.
Voting record: Appropriations Committee DO PASS motion on HB 13
YES votes support state employees. NO votes do not.
Chair: Walter McNutt (R-Sidney) NO
Vice Chair: Bill Beck (R-Whitefish) NO
Vice Chair: Cynthia Hiner (D-Deer Lodge) YES
Duane Ankney (R-Colstrip) YES
Tony Belcourt (D-Box Elder) YES
Randy Brodehl (R-Kalispell) NO
Tom Burnett (R-Bozeman) NO
Rob Cook (R-Conrad) NO
Mike Cuffe (R-Eureka) NO
Champ Edmunds (R-Missoula) NO
Ron Ehli (R-Hamilton) NO
John Esp (R-Big Timber) NO
Steve Gibson (R-East Helena) YES
Roy Hollandsworth (R-Brady) NO
Galen Hollenbaugh (D-Helena) YES
Bill McChesney (D-Miles City) YES
Robert Mehlhoff (D-Great Falls) YES
Ryan Osmundson (R-Buffalo) NO
Don Roberts (R-Billings) NO
Trudi Schmidt (D-Great Falls) YES
Jon Sesso (D-Butte) YES