AFSCME Members Voting on Union Recertification

IOWA  —  Iowa’s largest public workers union is deciding if it still wants to be a union.

Earlier this year, the Republican-controlled legislature passed a law requiring all public unions to re-certify every time a new contract is negotiated.  Members of AFSCME Council 61 started voting on Tuesday.  AFSCME represents about 40,000 public workers in Iowa.

President Danny Homan says voting is off to a rough start.  Homan says he’s fielding complaints over confusing voting instructions and claims it is an attempt to prevent recertification.

“It’s not giving the people a voice, like the Republican legislators want to say. It’s rigging the election against labor unions, that’s what this is,” Homan told Channel 13. “But give me whatever mountain you want us to climb, we’re going to do our best to climb it, we’re gonna work with our membership and help vote the way they want to vote. Even non-members are voting in favor of this because they understand what’s going on is not going to give them more voice in the workplace, it’s going to take their voice away.”

The Iowa Public Employment Relations Board disagrees.

Board Chair Mike Cormack tells us there were 75-100 errors among the more than 14,000 people who voted on Tuesday.  Cormack says many of the errors involved incorrect information from employers, such as incorrect birth dates or social security numbers.  Half of the errors were resolved on Tuesday.  Anyone who is having problems voting should contact the Iowa Public Employment Relations Board.

Voting will continue both over the phone and online until October 24.