Wednesday, March 26

Chet Culver Union Breaker?

The repercussions of the Collective Bargaining Bill that was approved by the Iowa Legislature are being heard around the state and from some unlikely sources including city and county governments. At stake is the ability for public employees to have the ability to go through arbitration to settle labor disputes.

Sadly, they find no friend in Governor Chet Culver, who has threatened to veto the bill. The governor who is feeling heat coming from anti-union groups, city and county lobbying groups, and others who are reframing the outcome to suggest that property taxes are likely to rise if this bill is signed into law.

The foes argue that if lawmakers do not have the power to stymie labor costs then the cost will be passed on to the taxpayer. However, what these critics fail to point out is that school boards and lawmakers do have the inherent fiduciary responsibility and authority to limit other areas of budgets and even freeze hiring to keep their budgets in line with community needs.

As Speaker Pat Murphy said, "We believe that the collective bargaining bill approved last week is good for middle class families, including Iowa teachers, police officers, and fire fighters. Our collective bargaining laws have not been changed in over 30 years and the bill is a responsible approach. Open scope bargaining simply gives public employees the same bargaining power as private employees in Iowa and it is also used in 27 other states."

The Governor will find it difficult to say no to the one's that brought him to the dance and, in this case, if he were to use his veto power, he will likely be known as "One Term Chet."

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