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Montana Department of Corrections, union reach a contract deal

Posted at 4:10 PM, Mar 31, 2022

HELENA - Following the conclusion of labor negotiations between the Montana Department of Corrections (DOC) and the Federation of State Prison Employees Local 4700 last month, union members last week ratified an agreement.

The new agreement provides a $2 per hour raise for correctional officers at Montana State Prison (MSP) and includes changes to the employee grievance procedure, allowing for a more efficient resolution of grievances.

“We are pleased to provide a well-deserved pay increase to our correctional officers at MSP,” DOC Director Brian Gootkin said. “Beyond this recognition of the hard work of our correctional officers, we hope this raise will make us more competitive in terms of recruitment and retention of workers for these crucial public safety jobs.”

Prior to the contract agreement, potential applicants often overlooked the DOC’s open positions for similar, higher-paying jobs at local detention centers, and existing correctional officers left for the same reason.

Last week’s contract ratification came after almost a year of productive negotiations between the department and the union.