New collective bargaining laws don’t apply to Iowa union’s contract, judge rules

A judge has ruled the state must comply with a last-minute employment contract approved by union workers just days before former Gov. Terry Branstad signed legislation authorizing a dramatic rewrite of Iowa’s collective bargaining laws.
UE Local 893 — Iowa United Professionals brought the case in February when it learned the state would not honor the contract approved by its members.
According to court filings, two of the union’s bargaining units in December 2016 began negotiating with the state for contracts that would take effect July 1, 2017.
The union made its initial offer Dec. 6, and the state made its first proposal Dec. 20.
The two sides met for a bargaining session Jan. 10. There, neither the union nor the state deviated from their initial offers.
The two sides canceled future bargaining sessions as the Legislature began to debate proposals to dramatically weaken public-sector union workers’ ability to negotiate for benefits and workplace conditions.

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