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Political Action Committee

Local 96 works to stay current with action in the Federal, State and Local level.  We share information on issues of concern for members.

Statement from AFSCME Iowa President Danny Homan on HSB-117

posted Feb 25, 2011, 3:01 PM by Andy Bock

In a marathon session that lasted until 6 am (for a total of 15 hours!), the House Labor committee passed out HSB117, a bill we've been warning you about.  That's the bill that we've called "Wisconsin Lite," and its goal is to destroy public sector bargaining in Iowa.

Democrats filed 58 amendments to try and fix all the problems with the bill, only to have every Republican vote them down.  In fact, check out Rep. Greg Forristall (R) paying close attention to the debate by listening to his headphones and reading his computer!

After such a long night of fighting for your rights, these Representatives sure could use a pick me up.  You can't send them a Red Bull or a V8, but you sure can send them a thank you note.

Please send a thank you to:

Contact them by clicking on the links to find their contact information.  Please be respectful, and do not use a work phone or email address.
Thank you for standing up for those who have stood with us.

In Solidarity,

Danny Homan
President, AFSCME Iowa Council 61

Bill to Eliminate Bargaining Rights Passes House Labor Committee

posted Feb 25, 2011, 1:59 PM by Andy Bock   [ updated Feb 25, 2011, 2:32 PM ]

HSB 117 has passed the Iowa House Labor Committee after debate lasting until 6am Friday February 25.  Representatives supportive of rights to bargain submitted numerous amendments which were all voted down by those against bargaining rights.  AFSCME Iowa has a picture of how important our rights were being considered during the debate.  The bill is expected to go before the full House of Representatives next week.

Public statements by supporters of the current bill have suggested their intent to remove "egregious elements of the bill" (their words) such as ability for public employees to exempt themselves from the collective bargaining agreement and "cut their own deal" (called "Free Agency" by bill authors), but other elements destructive to collective bargaining remain in the bill.
  • Items in Proposed Bill:
    • Insurance Benefits cannot be bargained - Management has the authority to offer any anything it deems appropriate and can change coverage and premium payment at any time
    • Layoff Procedures cannot be bargained - Management can determine any method to pick who is laid off.  No right to have seniority as a part of the layoff procedures.
    • Any health insurance premium must have 30% or more assessed to the covered employee - would apply to single and family plans
    • Employees eliminated or laid off due to outsourcing cannot have any compensation
  • Proposed changes to arbitration
    • Comparisons to non-public sector wages is allowed
    • Arbitration can decide any outcome, not limited to best and final offer from each side - Reduces or removes incentive for parties to reach a voluntary agreement
    • Arbitrators "shall strive to maintain parity in wages, benefits, hours, and conditions of employment between the public sector and the private sector for comparable types of work."
      • Proposal to compare public and private sector wages is in conflict with the Code of Iowa Section 70A.18: COMPENSATION BASED ON COMPARABLE WORTH. "It is the policy of this state that a state department, board, commission, or agency shall not discriminate in compensation for work of comparable worth between jobs held predominantly by women and jobs held predominantly by men. "Comparable worth" means the value of work as measured by the composite of the skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions normally required in the performance of work."
      • Section 70A.18 does not include comparison of external factors to a classification such as rates of pay in the private sector as an acceptable criteria for determining wages.  Only factors internal to the work assignment should be consedered.  External comparisons are likely to perpetuate existing pervasive gender discrimination in regards to wages, and it is not appropriate for the state of Iowa to encourage such discrimination.

AFSCME Iowa Lobby Day, March 9, 2011

posted Feb 23, 2011, 1:41 PM by Andy Bock   [ updated Feb 27, 2011, 6:58 PM ]

Lobby day this year will be more critical than ever.  What is happening in Wisconsin could happen here if we don't take action to be informed and voice our opinion to members of the state legislature and our governor.  See the report from last years lobby day for an idea of what it is like.  Several members and officers are already planning to attend.  Employees who will be attending, need to arrange for vacation leave or be otherwise unscheduled for their time away from work.

AFSCME Iowa Council 61 is hosting all members across the state with a full day of activities to inform and enable our voice to be heard.  Here are the details:
  • Date/Times: Wednesday March 9, 9am-3pm
  • Location: Embassy Suites, Des Moines (with round-trip bus transportation to the Iowa State Capitol in the afternoon)
  • Agenda:
    • 8am: Local 96 members leave Ames for Des Moines
    • 9am: Legislative updates and information on current legislation in Iowa
    • 11:30am/Noon: Lunch at hotel (provided)
    • 12:30/1pm: Transportation to capitol and opportunity to meet with your local State Senator or State Representative
    • 3pm: Return to hotel to wrap up and leave for Ames
    • 4pm: Arrive back in Ames
  • Shared rides
    • Members can take bus or drive to South East corner of ISU Commuter Lot where we will leave for Des Moines at 8am.
      [Try to make it to the lot by 7:45 so we don't leave you behind.]
    • Contact President Andy Bock to confirm you will be attending and to arrange for shared ride.
    • Transportation costs will be reimbursed by Local 96.

AFSCME Iowa Lobby Day, March 3, 2010

posted Mar 8, 2010, 9:50 AM by Andy Bock   [ updated Mar 8, 2010, 9:56 AM ]

Report by Deb Carter:

Andy Bock, Jean McMaken and Deb Carter went to lobby day in Des Moines on March 3, 2010.  The day started at the Embassy Suites with refreshments and remarks by President Danny Homan, Deputy Political Director Mitchell Stille, and Legislative Director Marcia Nichols, who discussed, among other things, the status of the Fair Share legislation. We were asked to encourage our legislators to support Fair Share and Governor Culver’s Education budget and thank them for doing so.
 

AFSCME membership is up to 14,268 statewide - that number will decrease with employees that take early retirement.   

Vic Elias of the Iowa Children and Family Policy Center talked about the revenue problem in Iowa.  He maintained that the revenue decline shouldn’t be fixed only through spending less and cutting services that Iowans depend on.   He advocated closing tax loopholes and getting rid of wasteful tax credits.   

Our breakout group was with other Regents employees and Regent lobbyist Keith Saunders.  Individuals spoke to Keith about inefficiencies and policies at their institutions and Keith explained how the funding in the legislature might happen with a lower beginning allotment and a later reversion as happened this year. 

Awards were presented to Friends of AFSCME and AFSCME Road Crew and maintenance members for their service.   After a nice lunch, we left for the Capitol where we had photo-ops with our representatives. Andy, with other AFSCME members, lobbied for Reasonable Reimbursement with Representative Lisa Heddens.  (Please write to Representative Heddens with your reasons supporting reasonable reimbursement.  She needs to hear from us!)  Debbie thanked State Senator Herman Quirmbach for his support of reasonable reimbursement legislation and they talked briefly about his meeting with the Chamber in Ames and his clarifying comments regarding reasonable reimbursement on an Ames radio program.  AFSCME was personally welcomed by the Governor who provided refreshments in his office.  

The day went fast and was fun and informative.  We received information about reasonable reimbursement, state government reorganization, Iowa’s budget gap and an AFSCME bag!  I encourage everyone to go next year.  It’s a great opportunity to support our union while having fun and meeting fellow union members.

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