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Public employees lobby Mont. lawmakers for raises

HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- More than 100 state workers in Montan spent their holiday asking legislators to support a proposed pay raise negotiated by unions and former Gov. Brian Schweitzer last year.

The deal calls for employees to receive two 5 percent raises in base pay over the next two years. It must be approved by lawmakers.

Lee Newspapers of Montana reports MEA-MFT President Eric Feaver asked workers at the Capitol Monday to look legislators in the eye and ask if they support the raises.

The House Appropriations Committee has not taken action on House Bill 13 since a Jan. 23 hearing.

Public employees' base pay has been frozen for four years. Half the executive branch employees received raises last year under a separate plan that allows department directors to adjust salaries within their authorized funding levels.