Unions reach contract deals with Minnesota

Monday, October 15, 2001

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Leaders from the two largest state employees unions agreed Sunday to accept contract deals reached with the state, ending a two-week walkout by 23,000 government workers.

Nearly half the state's employees were idled by the strike, the largest by state workers in Minnesota's history. The unions represent workers ranging from tax collectors to parole officers to zoo staff.

They were expected to return to their jobs this week.

The executive directors of both unions said they would recommend ratification when the rank-and-file vote on the contracts, which probably wouldn't happen for several weeks.

"There's a lot of hard feelings," said Lisa Maidl, a revenue collector in Ely. "I'm just going to go in, sit at my desk and hopefully avoid some of those people for awhile."

The contract deals, reached Sunday would give American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees 3.5 percent wage increases for each of the next two years.

Workers belonging to the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees would receive 3 percent pay hikes for each of the two years.

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