Features, Labor News Briefs, Municipal Government, National

Iowa Public-Sector Unions Begin Recertification Votes

October 3, 2017

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

Des Moines, Iowa—Iowa’s public-sector unions began holding recertification votes in late September, under a state law passed earlier this year that requires each of the about 1,200 bargaining units to vote at the end of each contract on whether to keep their current union. In the first round, which ended Sept. 26, all 13 education bargaining units casting ballots voted overwhelmingly to stay with the Iowa State Education Association, which represents more than 34,000 educators. But Hawkeye State unions fear that they will lose some elections, because the law requires them to win not just a majority of the vote, but a majority of eligible voters in the bargaining unit. “I don’t know if there’s any candidate [among] the Republicans who passed this egregious, repulsive law who could pass that test,” Danny Homan, president of AFSCME Iowa Council 61, which represents 40,000 public workers, told the Quad City Times. The law’s “intent was pretty clearly to punish the unions in this state,” said Ken Sagar, president of the Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. “It’s going to be a difficult haul for us for a while,” he predicted, but “One day longer, one day stronger. We’ll survive.” Read more

October 3, 2017

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