Iowa House Approves Bill Cutting Collective Bargaining Rights for Public Workers

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DES MOINES, Iowa  —  A bill that strips away most collective bargaining rights from 184,000 Iowa public workers has been approved by the Iowa House of Representatives.

The bill was first introduced last Tuesday by Republican leaders.  The bill makes it illegal for non-public safety public employees to bargain for anything other than wages.  That ends 40 years of workers inlcuding teachers and corrections workers being allowed to bargain for insurance benefits and other perks.

The final vote on Thursday afternoon was 53-47 mostly along party lines with the Republican majority approving the bill.

Democrats had tried to slow down the process on the bill and delay a vote.  On Thursday morning Republican leaders placed a “Time Certain” on amendments to the bill, requiring immediate votes on them.

The Republican controlled Iowa Senate has also used the “Time Certain” procedure to push the bill to a final vote there.  It is expected to be approved by the Full Senate as well.

Governor Branstad has promised to sign the bill.

The bill has faced near universal opposition at the statehouse from public and private union members, including police and fire unions that are exempt from the changes.