A confidential employee is paid the same level of pay and receives the same health insurance benefits as employees of the AFSCME bargaining unit in the same classification. Abby Finkenauer, a Democrat in Iowa`s 1st District and a former state congressman, said she was “broken” for Iowa workers. In previous discussions since the introduction of the 2017 law, state negotiators have said that wage increases are one of the few points unions can still negotiate on, but even these are capped. Homan expanded Monday`s discussion to the salary, pay days and other topics that state negotiators can ignore if they return later this month with a counter-proposal. State Rep. Steven Holt, R-Denison, retained approval of the legislation in the House of Representatives in 2017. He said he was “happy” with the Supreme Court`s rulings on the bill and other collective bargaining. AFSCME represents 40,000 public employees in Iowa and ISEA is the largest teachers` union in the state. On the website of the Iowa Public Employment Relations Board, 266 bargaining units voted for a recertification with a large number of unions. Fifteen units voted against maintaining union representation in contract negotiations. According to the Iowa Federation of Labor, nearly 99% of participants in this month`s recertification elections voted “yes” to union representation.
The head of AFSCME submitted a contract proposal based on a 2015-17 contract, which existed before the Iowa Legislature significantly overhauled the state`s collective bargaining legislation. In a written statement, Danny Homan, president of AFSCME Council 61, called the rulings a “disappointing regression on the long road to fairness for public service employees.” “They can take the position of not talking about anything else, and to me who sends a very strong message to every public employee in that state who works for the state, that this governor doesn`t appreciate what he`s done and what he`s doing for the citizens of this state,” he said. The Iowa union is aiming for a “reasonable” increase for AFSCME Council 61 officials suggestion, Danny Homan said in a statement that his organization would not be discouraged by the court`s decision and would launch new efforts to mobilize public workers “in a way that the state of Iowa has never seen in the coming months.” The Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday 4-3 that the overhaul of the state`s collective law in 2017 – which stipulated that government authorities were not obligated to negotiate with certain public labor unions on any subject other than basic wages – is constitutionally sound. AFSCME represents approximately 19,000 members, including nurses, prison officers, academics and transport workers, as well as other public service employees. The current State Treaty provides for basic wage increases of 2.1 per cent by the end of the fiscal year in June. Cady wrote that while the legislation aims to give more rights to public safety workers, it creates a few bargaining units that include both public safety workers and private security employees – while conferring additional rights on both types of workers.