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Over 30,000 state workers set for raises after pay deals struck with unions

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The state of Minnesota has reached deals with the two biggest state government unions that will provide pay raises of 2.5 percent in each of the next two years to more than 30,000 workers.

The Minnesota Association of Professional Employees announced Friday that it is recommending its 13,000 members ratify the contract, which will see workers get a 2.5 percent raise next month and another 2.5 percent in July 2016.

At the same time, MAPE workers will pay more for their health insurance, which will wipe away some of pay increase, even though union leaders said they managed to persuade Gov. Mark Dayton's team to drop some of the "more onerous" health care proposals amid concern about costs.

"I truly believe we squeezed every penny possible from the governor’s team in terms of what they were willing to offer our members in pay increases," MAPE President Chet Jorgenson said.

MPR reports that the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees has agreed a similar deal for its 17,500 state workers, which like the MAPE offer will see 2.5 percent raises and step increases for qualified employees.

AFSCME Council 5 revealed details of the deal on its Facebook page, but a spokesperson for the union would not comment until it had spoken to members about the proposed agreement.

Myron Frans, Minnesota Management and Budget commissioner, told MPR that the pay increases were not included in the recent budget deal between Gov. Dayton and the Legislature, so state agencies will have to "absorb these costs internally," and ensure they can pay the contracts while not making any layoffs.

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