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Briefs: Great Falls School District contract; Butte veterans home union

Great Falls School District ratified a new contract unanimously
Montana Public Radio | Austin Amestoy

Office staff for the Great Falls School District last Thursday unanimously ratified a new contract. All staff are set to receive a raise of at least one dollar per hour.

Union and district leaders went through two rounds of mediation to reach the deal. Office workers said they won a retroactive 8% pay increase. Salary increases over the next two years will bring their average starting pay in line with clerical staff in large schools across Montana.

Ashlie Clark works in the Lincoln Elementary School office in Great Falls.

“They’re honoring what we were asking for and honoring our hard work and it feels really good,” Clark told MTPR. “Overall, it was a really great experience.”

Superintendent Tom Moore said the contract shows the mediation process worked. He said the pay raise is two or three times more than any he’s seen in his nearly two decades with the district.

“As we move forward with the budgetary conversations, salary increases are going to be a huge component to how we balance the competing needs here,” Moore said.

Moore said state lawmakers must do more to boost teacher pay as expenses mount.

Great Falls school trustees are set to vote on the new contract on Dec. 11.

Certified nursing assistants that work at a Butte veteran's home will vote on whether to join the Teamsters Union or not
Montana Public Radio | John Hooks

Certified nursing assistants at the Southwest Montana Veteran’s Home in Butte will vote next month whether to join the local Teamsters Union or not.

Erin Foley, principal officer for the Teamsters, said the organizing effort began in spring. The election is set for December 19 and 20.

The veteran’s home is a nursing care facility for veterans and spouses. It currently employs 26 nursing assistants.

The facility is owned by the state but is operated and staffed by Eduro Healthcare, a private Utah-based company. Eduro’s administrators at the home did not immediately respond to MTPR’s requests for comment.

Austin graduated from the University of Montana’s journalism program in May 2022. He came to MTPR as an evening newscast intern that summer, and jumped at the chance to join full-time as the station’s morning voice in Fall 2022.

He is best reached by emailing
John joined the Montana Public Radio team in August 2022. Born and raised in Helena, he graduated from the University of Montana’s School of Media Arts and created the Montana history podcast Land Grab. John can be contacted at
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