ITEM 127-111-R0505


TO:������������ Montana Board of Regents


FROM:������� Kathy Crego, Director

Labor Relations and Human Resources


RE:������������ Approval of Tentative Agreement with� Montana Public Employees Association


DATE:�������� May 19-20, 2005

Attached is a summary of the tentative agreement reached with the Montana Public Employees Association (MPEA), which has been overwhelmingly ratified by members of the bargaining unit.� The tentative agreement includes modifications made to the prior agreement.� The entire collective bargaining agreement is available at the Montana University System web site.


The MPEA bargaining unit is comprised of approximately 1,650 employees at MSU-Billings, UM-Missoula, MSU-Bozeman, Montana Tech, Helena College of Technology, and Great Falls College of Technology.� The employees have a wide range of responsibilities, including clerical, technical, service, maintenance, and professional occupations.


Major changes include:

         The agreement provides for wage increases in accordance with HB 447�3.5 percent or $1,005 annually, whichever is greater and 4.0 percent or $1,188 annually, whichever is greater effective October 1, 2005, and October 1, 2006, respectively.

         A minimum wage of $8.25 per hour for all permanent employees.

         Elimination of .5 percent achievement pay.

         Addition of another optional pay component:� In-range Progression Pay to supplement Career Ladder Progression Pay.

         Contract term of four years rather than two, allowing for wages only to be negotiated in 2007.

         Continuation of the Dependent Partial Tuition Waiver.

         Formal recognition of Labor-Management Committees as a mechanism for addressing issues and improving labor-management relations.


Other modifications were made for reasons for clarification and/or contract housekeeping.


I recommend approval of the tentative agreement with MPEA.