State Employees Get 2 Percent Wage Increase - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

State Employees Get 2 Percent Wage Increase

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - It's a rare occurrence, for both the state and workers to leave the fate of their contract up to a civil service commission. By a 3-1 vote, the commission approved a panel recommendation to give workers a 2 percent raise and switch to one healthcare plan.

The decision wasn't easy.

"I think it's a slap in the face of all of our dedicated state employees," said Commissioner Robert Swanson, who felt like even though it's not a contract, he agrees with entirely, it's better than no contract at all.

"The governor needs to deliver a budget message, we've always included state employee pay and benefits and now that can happen," said Jan Winters Office of the State Employer Director.

The approval by the civil service commission will give roughly 50,000 state workers, a two percent raise each of the next two years and make changes to their healthcare plans.

"This fiscal year all of the premiums under these new plans are lower for the 9,000 people enrolled," Winters said. She says deductibles go up $100 for a person and $200 for a family, but says overall most will save money.

But the UAW doesn't see it that way.

"It's a travesty that workers are going to get concessions at a time when there's an extra billion in revenue," said UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada.

They're changes which UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada says isn't a good sign for the future.

"What it just shows is that when times are bad, these workers are not wanting to go do what they did in the past, which is continue to work with the state to make improvements," Estrada said.

But Winters isn't worried this vote will hurt future negotiations.

"Bargaining is really really hard, but we've heard from both parties, we're ready to work together," Winters said.

But Estrada and these employees say this vote shows clearly the state isn't ready for that yet.

As part of the agreement, workers will also receive a one time lump sum bonus in October of half a percent of their salary.

Roughly 9,000 workers are already on the health plan and the state feels it's a "win-win" situation for both employees and Michigan.

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