DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa has proposed no wage increases and removed health insurance provisions in a contract with the state’s largest public employees union.
The contract released Wednesday by the Iowa Department of Administrative Services to the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Iowa Council 61 adds language that would give the state more control in determining health benefits.
Danny Homan, Iowa Council 61 president, says the state is “shortchanging” public employees in anticipation of legislation next year that could change Iowa’s collective bargaining laws. Republicans will control both the House and Senate in January.
Ben Hammes, a spokesman for Gov. Terry Branstad, says the Republican governor wants to provide health care that’s more “financially sustainable.”
Iowa Council 61 represents 40,000 public employees including correctional officers, firefighters and mental health workers.