February 26, 1997 in Idaho

State Workers Talk Of Staging Protest Over Raise

Associated Press

After watching silently as legislative leaders decided to scrap Gov. Phil Batt’s proposed 2 percent pay increase for next year, state employees are contemplating a work interruption in protest.

“Better late than never,” Warren Lundquist of the Idaho Service Employees Union said on Tuesday.

“I’ve never seen state employees as mad as they are now,” Lundquist said. “There is a lot of talk about doing a sick out.”

He told reporters there was no systematic attempt to organize a work stoppage, and that individual employees would have to make that decision themselves.

“I’m not telling them anything,” Lundquist said. “They’re telling me.”

Two weeks ago, legislative budget writers adopted the first part of a leadership plan to reduce Batt’s already pared-down general tax budget by $10 million as a hedge against a weakening economy and potential spring flood damage.

That involved rejecting the governor’s modest pay increase, which would have cost $8 million in general tax money and twice that much in federal and other funds.

© Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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