HELENA – Eric Feaver, one of Montana’s most prominent labor leaders and now a Helena city commissioner, has passed away.
A spokesperson for the Montana Federation of Public Employees, which Feaver formerly led as president, confirmed the news Thursday.
Feaver, who spent decades at the helm of Montana’s teacher’s union, was a prominent advocate for public education and public institutions.
He and his union played significant roles in battles over state funding for schools, tax policy, teaching standards and school accreditation.
Feaver grew up in Oklahoma. After serving as an Army medic during the Vietnam War, he came to Montana in 1974.
He started work as a history and English teacher in Helena and quickly became involved in his labor union.
In 1984, he became president of the Montana Education Association and led the union through 36 years and two mergers.
When he stepped down in 2020, MFPE was by far the state’s largest union, representing 23,000 members – not only public school teachers but many other public employees, including university faculty, state correctional officers and local law enforcement.
Feaver was elected to a seat on the Helena City Commission in November of 2021, saying he was ready to turn his energy to serving his local community and working on issues like affordable housing.