Survivor: Iowa Law Curtailing Public Union’s Powers Fends Off Court Challenge
A Polk County, Iowa, judge has dismissed a lawsuit we blogged about recently that challenged a new Iowa law curtailing the collective bargaining powers of the state’s public sector unions. Immediately after the law was passed in February, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Iowa Council 61 (AFSCME) filed a lawsuit claiming the law violated the state’s constitution. AFSCME is a large public sector union representing tens of thousands of government workers in Iowa.
The new law drastically limits the subjects over which those unions can bargain, primarily regarding wages. Further, before entering into any collective bargaining negotiation, each local public union must now hold and prevail, by a majority of covered employees, in a “recertification election.”
The union is signaling it likely will appeal the court’s decision, citing the fact that Iowa public sector unions largely prevailed in recertification votes held last week under the new law (436 of 468 eligible public-sector bargaining units were recertified in the votes). For the time being, however, the law remains in effect. Stay tuned.