HELENA, Mont. — Two state employee unions are moving toward merging into an organization with a membership of about 27,000.

Delegates with the MEA-MFT and with the Montana Public Employees Association voted this spring to merge.

The Great Falls Tribune reports the two groups are set to meet in Helena on Jan. 20 to consider a proposed constitution for the new Montana Federation of Public Employees. The combined union will meet April 6-7 in Helena to elect officers and board members.

Officials expect the merger to be complete by Sept. 1.

The MEA-MFT represents about 20,000 state workers and was the result of the merger of the Montana Education Association and the Montana Federation of Teachers in 2000. The MPEA reports a membership of 7,000 state, university, local government and school district employees.

Information from: Great Falls Tribune, http://www.greatfallstribune.com

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