LANSING (WWJ/AP) – The state of Michigan was sent back to the bargaining table with its employee unions after rejecting a new contract.

The Michigan Civil Service Commission has postponed a decision on whether to impose higher health care costs on tens of thousands of Michigan government workers.

The commission met Wednesday in Lansing to consider whether to accept wage increases and health benefit terms that an impasse panel had recommended.

State employee unions took to the picket line in Lansing Tuesday and Wednesday to protest the proposal. The impasse panel’s recommendations came after unions and Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration disagreed on wages and health benefits.

The panel recommended a 2 percent wage increase and a 0.5 percent lump sum payment in 2014 and a 2 percent pay increase in 2015.

It also would raise co-pays, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums for health care.

“Both sides agreed that the 2 percent pay raise was OK; it was those health care cost concessions that produced a stalemate,” WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick said.

Said Jan Winters, director of the Office of the State Employer, Obviously we’re always willing to continue talking or whatever, so, maybe thye’ve got some things to say that will help things along.”

Roughly 70 percent of Michigan’s 47,000 employees are unionized.

Labor unions say they”ll go back to the table to.

The new deadline is Jan.15, 2014.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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