Minnesota Comes to Terms with Striking Employees. (New Briefs).
* The State of Minnesota reached a compromise with the two largest
state employee unions following a two-week strike by some 23,000 state
workers. The state agreed to 3.5 percent pay increases for each of the
next two years for members of the American Federation of State, County,
and Municipal Employees, and 3 percent increases for members of the
Minnesota Association of Professional Employees. Improvements in the
healthcare packages of both unions also were included in the deal.
Although the state would not rule out the possibility of layoffs to pay
for the increases, officials said they would leave it to the departments
to determine how to cut their budgets. The strike, which began October
1, was the largest in state history and idled almost half of the
state's employees. Managers took up some of the slack, while more
than 1,000 members of the National Guard filled in at nursing homes,
veterans homes, and security hospitals. (Source: The Chicago Tribune,
Oct ober 15, 2001.)