Gov. Mark Dayton has vetoed a bill that would have blocked state employees from getting pay raises until their unions negotiate a new contract with the state.

Most state workers have been working almost 10 months without a new contract with the state. Last year’s government shutdown derailed the contract negotiation process and Republican lawmakers complain that unions have no incentive to come to a speedy settlement.

The bill, authored by Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, would have allowed state workers to get promotions between contracts, but not to collect the raises that go with those promotions until the new contracts have been settled.

In his veto letter, the governor said: “The Legislature is well aware that I have opposed, and will continue to oppose, unilateral changes in the collective bargaining process. This bill undermines contracts, which are collectively bargained by employees’ elected representatives and the Minnesota Department of Management and Budget.”
The state is currently in talks with nine different bargaining units, representing more than 30,000 state employees.

The full text of the governor's veto letter: