Montana labor leader, Eric Feaver, dies at 77

Eric Feaver, a former Helena city commissioner and one of Montana’s most well-known labor leaders, has gone away.

The information was confirmed on Thursday by a representative of the Montana Federation of Public Employees, which Feaver once served as president.

Feaver was a well-known supporter of public institutions and education who oversaw the teacher’s union in Montana for many years.

In conflicts over tax law, teaching standards, and school accreditation, he and his union had a tremendous impact.

Oklahoma was Feaver’s home state. He arrived in Montana in 1974 after serving as an Army doctor during the Vietnam War.

He began working in Helena as an English and history teacher, and he soon got actively involved in his union.

He took over as president of the Montana Education Association in 1984, serving in that capacity for 36 years and two mergers.

With 23,000 members that included not just public school teachers but also university staff, state corrections officials, and local law enforcement, the MFPE was by far the state’s largest union at the time of his resignation in 2020.

In November 2021, Feaver ran for and won a position on the Helena City Commission, stating that he was prepared to devote his time to helping his neighborhood and tackling problems like affordable housing.

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