After overnight debate in the Iowa Senate and in the face of protesting workers and Democrats, a bill reducing what public employees can bargain for at contract time has passed votes in both the Iowa House and Senate.
All four local legislators, including State Senators Ken Rozenboom and Amy Sinclair, as well as Representatives Guy Vander Linden and Greg Heartsill voted in favor of the measure.
Republicans developed the legislation to help curb cost of government and to give more options for arbitrators and local control supervisors and elected officials more power at the negotiating table. Opponents debated the bill unnecessarily strips rights from public employees.
Now signed by Governor Terry Branstad, most public-sector union contract negotiations are limited to base wages, and discussing issues such as evaluation procedures, health insurance, staff reduction and leaves of absence for political purposes is now prohibited. Police and firefighters are exempt from those reductions.