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The End of Unions, A Continuing Series

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Iowa is going full Wisconsin to destroy its public sector unions by outlawing most parts of collective bargaining. Cops excepted of course.

“I think it’s an extremely bold proposal,” said Drew Klein, director of the Iowa chapter of the conservative group Americans for Prosperity. “When you really start to dig into the substance of this bill, it makes a number of really important changes. It does so in a common sense way. It does so while protecting our government services but also making sure that we’re protecting budgets at the state and local level as well.”

The changes would remove health insurance from mandatory contract negotiations for most public-sector union workers, and it would limit mandatory negotiations only to base wages, cutting out discussions over things like insurance, evaluation procedures and seniority-related benefits. Other changes are proposed to the arbitration and certification process for unions.

“The only thing that we will be able to is bargain over is wages. Nothing else.” said Danny Homan, president of Council 61 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents 40,000 Iowa public employees. “Wages are not the most important thing that we want to bargain over. It is health insurance, layoffs, transfers … It’s all those other elements in the contract.”

Tammy Wawro, president of the Iowa State Education Association, which represents 34,000 Iowa school employees, described the legislation as “punitive” and lacking any respect for public employees.

“I am beyond angry today,” she said. “I am absolutely mortified.”

But hey, Donald Trump represented the interests of white people so let’s elect Republicans across the board to keep those Muslims and Mexicans out of my state.

The only way to fight this is going to be at the state election level. If people are really that angry about everything that is happening both at the state and national levels, then organizing has to happen starting at the local level to retake those state house seats and overturn this legislation and whatever else these awful Iowa Republicans are going to push through in the next two years. It hasn’t worked in Wisconsin, but maybe the combination of state outrages with national outrages will motivate enough people to action. IT’s the only hope.

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