By Joe Biesk
The Associated Press
FRANKFORT - More than 19,000 state employees would be eligible for the first time to join labor unions under an agreement Gov. Paul Patton signed Wednesday.
Patton met with union representatives at the Capitol to sign a "master agreement" which would form the ground rules for further labor contract negotiations. Six labeled categories of state workers have agreed to allow five different unions to represent them in contract talks. Unions would negotiate with the state on behalf of state employees on such topics as job security, wages and benefits, Patton said.
"I believe that the agreement that we're signing today, the process we have put in place, will better help those front-line employees make sure that the things that concern them are also brought to the attention of the governor and the legislature," Patton said.
State workers would not be required to join a union, Patton said. However, union contracts would cover all state employees working in the six categories, he said.
Employees who work in clerical or semi-technical jobs would be represented by the United Auto Workers, laborers and trades workers by the Teamsters and state police by the Kentucky State Police Professional Association.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees would represent workers in employment and social services, and corrections, parole and other law enforcement officers. Some health services employees would be represented by AFSCME, while others would be represented by the Service Employees International Union.
Lollapalooza bands still hit hard with fans
Saks' new look a return to retailer's roots
Wrights' descendants enjoy a famous legacy
West Nile discovered in Butler mosquitoes
IN THE TRISTATE
Finishing Convergys deal could take weeks
County inaugurates new radio system
City Art Museum helps to exhibit city of ancient Jordan
Decision to dismiss ex-cop's defamation lawsuit upheld
Picture of the day: Don't pop, please don't pop
Tristate A.M. Report
PULFER: Teaching girls more than just a game
Some good news
BUTLER, WARREN, CLERMONT
Closed elementary school up for sale
Indictments in rape, attempted murder cases
Butler site to drop Fox's report
Buses to roll back into Hamilton
Clermont County couple held in bank robbery case
Pierce trustee to seek General Assembly seat
Fairfield group to meet on flood woes
Mother of accused 13-year-old also charged in infant's death
Lakota projects red-ink budget, depletion by '06
Couple sue Mason, builder over flooding
Mason makes plans to spend tax-district $$
Ricketts' defender wants new trial venue
Son's fraternity brings mom solace
Symmes Twp. will take out residents' trash
Warren sees more aid-to-poor requests
Matt Dolan, 30, was family's 'comeback kid'
Taft picks Jonathan Allison to serve as his chief of staff
Roller-coaster record at Cedar Point broken
Springer show a shock to senator
Ohio death row inmate clings to hope
Supplement seller grilled in court
26-year inmate may go free today
Rep. Lucas raking it in for '04 race
Two indicted in murder, dorm arson
Patton agrees state employees can unionize
Covington schools' leader re-signed
Kentucky News Briefs