Iowa House Votes to Curtail Public Employee Bargaining Rights

The Iowa House became the latest state assembly to pass legislation to restrict public employee bargaining rights.
Iowa Politics reported:

A 28-hour debate over three days and a week of union rallies at the Iowa Capitol culminated Friday afternoon with the Iowa House voting 58-38 along party lines for a bill that Democrats criticized as bringing an end to collective bargaining.

House Democrats stood in protest and in solidarity, as did a few dozen members of labor unions in the gallery, as House Speaker Kraig Paulsen said that time for debate had expired and quickly began calling for votes on each of the remaining amendments without any further explanation or debate.

“Shame on you!” union members in the gallery shouted just after passage of the bill.

Wilbur Wilson of Des Moines, a retired 32-year employee of Firestone Tire, stood in the gallery and kept shouting just after adjournment as lawmakers began filing out of the chamber. “You’ve started a war that we will finish!” he yelled.

…One of the most significant parts of House File 525 got tacked on as an amendment today: It requires public employees who are members of a bargaining unit to pay at least $100 a month toward their health insurance premiums.

The bill also says a public employee has the right to declare his or herself a free agent. Under the bill, retirement systems and restrictions on outsourcing or layoffs would be excluded from the scope of collective bargaining. And arbitrators would be required to consider comparisons with non-union workers and the private sector, and whether taxes would be increased.

This bill looks like it will not make it past the Iowa Senate… which means that the Iowa tea party has their work cut out for them in the next two years.

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