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Secretary Linda McCulloch Supports State Pay Plan Agreement

January 21, 2009

(Helena) - Secretary of State Linda McCulloch today urged lawmakers to pass the State Pay Plan as ratified by union members and Governor Schweitzer's administration. The agreement holds salaries at their current rate for most public employees over the next two years.

"It is no secret that we are faced with the harsh reality of a struggling economy and state budget shortages," said McCulloch. "This economic downturn has led the majority of state union members to negotiate and agree on the pay plan provided by House Bill 13."

To supplement the salaries adjustment, House Bill 13 proposes to provide $24 million in new money for state employees. In addition to increased state payments toward health insurance premiums, checks will also be mailed to more than 5,000 full and part-time state employees.

Full-time employees with a base pay of $45,000/year or less will receive a one-time, lump sum payment of $450. Part-time employees whose base pay is $21.63/hour or less and who work 20 hours or more each week will receive $225.

"State employees have had to make a difficult decision regarding their negotiated agreement. In support of state employees, I have announced that I will also forgo my pay increase that is due to go into effect this summer," said McCulloch.

Secretary of State Linda McCulloch was scheduled to receive a statutory increase based on a survey of four surrounding states. Her salary increase would have been 4.2% or $3,290. Governor Schweitzer and Lieutenant Governor John Bohlinger have also announced that they will not accept their scheduled salary increases.