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“Work that Matters” Campaign Showcases MT Public Services

January 19, 2010

HELENA, Mont. - Chemical-terrorism response readiness, food safety testing and preservation of state history - these are examples of work that Montana public employees do every day. It is being showcased this week for the kickoff of the MEA-MFT "Work that Matters" campaign.

MEA-MFT member Jill Cohenour is a chemist in the state environmental lab. She says the scope of public employee responsibilities is wide-ranging and goes beyond the more obvious jobs of teachers and transportation workers.

"Whether it's making sure the water is clean, making sure that the flu epidemics are being tracked, providing services to needy families - that's what public employees do every day."

Making the connection between this varied work and how it affects Montanans is one of the goals of the campaign, Cohenour adds.

MEA-MFT president Eric Feaver stresses that although most public workers have seen a salary freeze because of state budget problems, their spirits are still dedicated to their jobs, and they hope for rewards when the economy recovers.

"As we look down the road, we're not so sure that the next biennium is going to be any kinder to state employees and university employees and folks who work in our schools. Nonetheless, they will continue to work hard."

The official kickoff for "Work that Matters" is Thursday at 6:30 p.m. on the 6th floor of the Montana Club in downtown Helena.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - MT