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Blunt Restricts State Workers' Bargaining Rights

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Missouri Governor Matt Blunt signs his repeal Tuesday of Gov. Holden's executive order which had expanded state workers' collective bargaining rights. (UPI photo/Bill Greenblatt)

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO. – In his first full day on the job Missouri Governor Matt Blunt has limited state employees' collective bargaining rights.

Those rights had been expanded under former Governor Bob Holden with an executive order in 2001.

The American Federation of State, City, and Municipal Employees represents about 6,000 state workers in Missouri.

Executive Director Ken Jacob says he's concerned the governor will cut state employees to shore up the budget.

"If you look at the rate of job growth, it's poor, so you're unemployment would go up, and the services those people provide to citizens would certainly be reduced," Jacob said.

Service Employees International Union president Grant Williams says they're disappointed by Blunt's move but not pessimistic.

"As we read the current Missouri statute, we think we can do a pretty effective job representing people under our current agreements," Williams said.

The state will revert back to a "meet and confer" law, which allows state employees to belong to unions, but without binding arbitration.

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