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Paynesville Press - October 17, 2001

State strike settled

The state of Minnesota has settled the 2001-03 labor contracts with state workers represented by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 6 and the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees (MAPE), ending a two-week strike.

Over 22,000 workers from both unions were on strike for two weeks, making it the largest strike in Minnesota.

The settlements were reached early Sunday morning after three days of around-the-clock mediation.

The agreements include a 3.5 percent base salary increase each year for AFSCME and a three percent base salary increase for MAPE. Insurance and other benefits will result in an additional four percent increase in the total compensation package over the biennium for both unions.

Governor Jesse Ventura released a statement to the media, saying that he will advise his staff to find ways for the state government to absorb the cost of the settlement through budget cutting and, if necessary, by trimming the state's workforce.

The end of the strike means that workers at the MnDOT maintenance garage in Paynesville will be back on the job. So will on-the-road driving examiners, who come to city hall in Paynesville every Thursday. Permit and driving tests will now be offered again in Paynesville.

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