Big Pennsylvania state employee unions ratify new 4-year agreements with Shapiro administration

The cost of salaries and benefits are projected to rise by more than 20%.

Josh Shapiro speaking at a podium

File photo: Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro speaks at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Jan. 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, file)

Members of two large Pennsylvania state employee unions this month ratified proposed four-year contracts with Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro’s administration, with the cost of salaries and benefits projected to rise by more than 20%.

One agreement covers about 10,000 members of the Service Employees International Union Local 668 and was ratified last week. Earlier this month, about 27,000 members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 13 ratified another agreement. The Independent Fiscal Office, a legislative agency, estimated that the AFSCME contract will increase salaries and benefits by almost $1.2 billion in the deal’s fourth year, or roughly 21%.

The terms of the contracts are identical, according to Shapiro’s administration.

The contracts deliver pay raises of 20.25% over the four years, including 5% right away. Compounded over the four years, salaries will increase by 22%.

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Employee health care contributions will increase from 5% to 6% of salary over the life of the contract, although members can halve the contribution by participating in a wellness program.

The agreements come after inflation spiked in 2021.

SEIU and AFSCME members are coming off a four-year contract that expired July 1 after delivering raises of 16.75% over the contract’s life.

Employees across state government are represented by unions, including nurses, state troopers, corrections officers and social services caseworkers. Shapiro’s administration has said talks continue with 13 other labor unions representing state employees.

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