February 17, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Sioux City, Iowa - Republican state legislators’ bill to dismember collective bargaining for public employees isn’t playing well in this city of 82,000 people along the Missouri River.
“We have a great relationship with our unions, and we are going to do everything we can to keep that,” Mayor Bob Scott told the Sioux City Journal Feb. 9. He said he’d signed a letter opposing major changes to the state’s collective- bargaining law. The Journal said it couldn’t find a single local elected official who supported the bill, which would prohibit all public workers except for police and firefighters from bargaining on any issue other than wages, and require unions to win a majority of all workers in the bargaining unit every time a contract came up for renewal. Unions representing public-safety workers here have also criticized the bill, even though they’d be exempt from some of its harshest provisions. “THIS IS CRITICAL for ALL Iowa workers,” Local 7 of the International Firefighters Association said in a message to members. Todd Trobaugh, head of Communications Workers of America Local 7717, which represents county sheriff's deputies and jailers, said the bill would enable "vindictive" firings after every election. Sioux City is the hometown of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 61 President Danny Homan, who calls the bill “Wisconsin on steroids.” Read more