Iowa Legislature Public Hearings


Public Hearings and times are as follows:

HF 291 - A bill for an act relating to employment matters involving public employees including collective bargaining, educator employment matters, personnel records and settlement agreements, city civil service requirements, and health insurance matters, making penalties applicable, and including effective date, applicability, and transition provisions. (Formerly HSB 84.)

Sponsored by the Labor Committee

Monday, February 13, 2017
6:00 PM (introductions begin)
8:00 PM (conclusion of the hearing)
RM 103, Sup. Ct. Chamber

Comments Received at Public Hearing (Date Published: 03/03/2017)
02-08-2017
Melissa Speed [AFSCME Covered State of Iowa Employees]
CON
Neither bill is good for State of Iowa employees or THE STATE OF IOWA!!! Both should be voted down!!!
02-08-2017
Mike Wiser []
CON
Strong unions build strong a strong middle class. A strong middle class builds strong communities. This legislation doesn't do anything to build the middle class. This legislation doesn't do anything to build Iowa communities. I am opposed to HSB 84.
02-08-2017
Kimberly Hupp [IPAS & ISEA]
CON
I am writing today to express my opposition for HSB 84 and SF 213. The way by which the Republicans have drafted and are pushing these bills is cowardly. They call it a reform yet the Republicans drafted it in seclusion from Democrats even though Iowa as a whole tends to be a fairly split state. Pushing this bill through without the opportunity for meaningful discussion or revision proves that they KNOW they are pushing a radical agenda that the voters of Iowa have not mandated nor do they desire. I see the out of state money buying ads to try to convince voters that they just have the best interest of teachers in mind, but I am curious how well cared for those teachers will feel when they jack up the cost of their healthcare without bothering to offset their wages. This bill will affect the entire economy in Iowa. When Wisconsin passed similar legislation, their state employees saw a decrease in take home pay of 812%. Thats about $400 a month per employee. Multiply that by the 250,000 state employees, and we are looking at 100 MILLION dollars less per month being spent in the Iowa economy. I realize you think this will mean big tax savings it works out to $32 per Iowan per month assuming the profits are evenly distributed. What you are forgetting is that when working class people are shorted $400 per month, that means they stop going out to eat, they stop buying coffees, they stop buying appliances, or doing home remodeling, they put off buying new cars, they make do with what they have, which means less money spent at Iowa businesses, which means less sales tax, which means less employees are necessary to run these businesses which means less income tax for the state. It also means the businesses that receive this money have less profit, which means they in turn will spend less and the cycle repeats. Republicans seem to have no problem claiming that putting more money in the hands of big business or the upper class will result in more job growth and more tax revenue, but they are incapable of applying the same logic to the working class who are more likely to spend their money locally. This bill will affect the entire economy in Iowa negatively.Allowing this sham of a "reform" to go through asis is disgraceful and down right vindictive. As a parent and a private sector union employee, do understand that I will support our teachers, firefighters, nurses, bus drivers, social workers, and every other state employee 100% with whatever means they use to defend their bargaining rights.
02-08-2017
Kelcey R Brackett []
CON
I want to state my opposition to this as it will harm all workers in the state by driving down wages and benefits. Passing this will show further evidence that our legislators are representing corporate interests above all else.
02-08-2017
Shelly A Silver [Local 3289 Community Based Corrections]
CON
I am writing today about HSB84 and SF213 which basically guts Chapter 20 and puts a lot of control in Management's hands except for wages. From what I understand, they can decide they want to fire me without any cause. I'd like to think that I wouldn't be fired but who knows?? I'm maxed out at my pay scale. Who is to say they won't fire me and decide to hire someone brand new at the bottom of the pay scale?? I would have no recourse except to get a lawyer and sue who can afford that?? I do not understand why Public Service Employees are being attacked in this manner. I do not recall any campaigns being ran on this issue. I take this very personally. I have worked in community based corrections for 21 years. On a daily basis, I help hold offenders accountable when they violate their probation. I help keep the community safe. I bring knowledge, compassion and experience to my profession. All I ask in return is that I be paid a fair wage with decent health insurance benefits so that I can afford to raise my family in a comfortable manner with the ability to put money back into the local economy. Legislation like this says that you do not value me as a state worker and that you care more about money than my profession, my dignity and my respect. I wish you could spend a day with me to see what I do what all of us do in community based corrections in our residential facilities and our field probation/parole offices. If you had an understanding, you would not EVEN CONSIDER passing this legislation. As for the state's budget woes, those once again are NOT the fault of state workers and the government should NOT be asking to fix the state's budget problems on our backs. The state could make corporations like Walmart, Target and McDonald's pay their fair share of taxes. Did you know that McDonald's teaches their employees how to get on Welfare and helps them make a "budget" with their measly salary but they don't factor in such things as utilities. Do you know of anyone that can survive an Iowa winter without heat?? And any arguments about not wanting to hurt job creators is ridiculous when these are multiBILLION dollar companies I'm talking about they can easily afford it. I do not want to hurt the small business owner. In New York new business are tax exempt for the first 10 years, then they pay their fair share like everyone else. Why can't we do that?As for revenue as I stated at public forum in Ankeny a couple of years ago the state could move to decriminalize Marijuana we would have fewer offenders to supervise and could better spend our limited resources supervising higher risk/violent offenders and the state could move to tax Marijuana like other states have done like Colorado. They now have an influx of cash that have benefited multiple state agencies especially education. Are there cons to doing that? I'm sure there are, but I believe the benefits far outweigh the negatives.
02-08-2017
Nicolle Juarez [DHS]
CON
This will effect over 200,000 Iowa families. This will cause issues with the econony, jobs, turnover rates and impact the state in ways the legislation hasn't even considered. Please vote no!
02-08-2017
Kathy cubit [Afscme]
CON
This is a bill developed behind closed doors without input from the working families affected by these egregious assault on labor. Labor is not a commodity, we are your neighbors, teachers, bus drivers and the people that help you in times of emergency. We pay property taxes, income taxes, vehicle taxes and have a right to sit at the table with management.
02-08-2017
Coleen Rhoads [LeClaire AFSCME 3725]
CON
These changes will ruin public employees in small communities like mine.Our base wages are not the same as those in larger cities. We are already paying more for health care than ever before. If Chapter 20 is abolished we will be going back to the days of the revolving door public service employment. The jobs here weren't desirable. No one stayed very long.
02-08-2017
Lauren Rice []
CON
I am an Iowa educator! Rather than trying to take away our rights and destroy fairness, Iowa legislators should be supporting it!
02-08-2017
Emily Rice [Iowa Democrats]
CON
This bill is not good for Iowa workers. I want to attend as a demonstration of my concern and objection to this bill moving forward.
02-08-2017
Kevin Smith [AFSCME 61]
CON
I will not be able to attend do to work schedule
02-08-2017
Susan Rowe [Tax payer]
CON
HSB84. I would like to speak regarding my feelings on the bill.
02-08-2017
Karen Herwig [retired]
CON
This is an attack on the rights of workers to bargain for salaries and benefits and will lead to unintended consequences. Many of the individuals and families we've been wanting to retain in Iowa will look for jobs in other states where the climate for workers isnt so hostile. The industries you want to lure to Iowa may still want to come for the tax abatements and other giveaways but ultimately they need workers and will find slim pickings. When the quality of life for middle class workers not just financial but benefits and job security and their families continually declines the landscape in our state declines with it. The GOP is taking the shortterm, political road of "because we can do it we will," but many will remember this assault on the rights and benefits of the citizenry.
Attachment
02-08-2017
Alison Grovo [CWA]
CON
Attacking hard working public sector individuals is bad for everyone economy, families, health of hard working individuals. Attacking Chapter 20 is personal and not any kind of business no matter what field of work you are in. Republicans will not stop at Chapter 20 changes. Your job, your income, your health care is next!
02-08-2017
Steve Siegel []
CON
An outrageous Bill, written by ALEC, with no public input. Apparently the GOP wants to cut down on the middle class and punish workers with skills and education.
02-08-2017
John Ellingson []
CON
*20 year state employeeCorrections and DHS*Two decade member of Allamakee County Republican Central Committee.*Political Consultant for politicians, candidates, organizations and PAC's.*Campaign Manager for multiple small and large campaigns.I would like to speak to the financial impact, both positive and negative, of collective bargaining.I would also speak to the empowerment of the unions in the protection of the employees due to poorly trained management within the State executive branch.AI would speak directly to the impact on rural Iowa in regards to the welfare and safety of children, child abuse, and the increase in heroin cases in rural Iowa which would be impacted by this bill.I would answer any and all questioned posed to me.
02-08-2017
Patrice Golinvaux [Proud Democrat]
CON
Dear Governor Branstad:In the last two terms of your governorship, it would seem that you have moved from being a moderate Republican to one who serves corporate interests and not hard working Iowans.I am exhausted from all the rhetoric about balancing the budget and having less government. Anyone with a brain knows that the crash in 2008 affected any and all retirement plans adversely. It is also possible that sustained market growth can affect it favorably. The Bottomline of what's a foot here is that Republicans want total control over what they pay for and are going to ultimately destroy the caliber of people who are interested in these jobs as well as insulting those who are already serving us so well.If you wish to lock in an hourly rate and a guaranteed 40 hour work week that more than covers the salary and benefits they currently receive along with an 18 month Cobra, for the next 15 years with automatic increases of 5% every 2 years after that and an automatic redress of 60 days on any issues presented, then do away with all of that.Otherwise, I would suggest that you recommend to your fellow Republicans who are flexing their muscles over the results of the recent election, that they have not presented any solid arguments and that these public servants are also their constituents and they should take into consideration that many of them work and watch over us while we sleep and that 34,000 of them work tirelessly educating our youth that will take up where you have left off.Don't mimic your Washington counterparts, be better than that. Anyone who is from Iowa is proud of it, so please do the right thing not what seems expedient so that we can continue to be proud of Iowa and show our appreciation for those who serve the public.
02-08-2017
Ben Arato []
CON
This is a horrible bill that merely displays the elitism of Republicans. They do not care for working families, only the business insiders than line their campaign coffers.
02-08-2017
Thomas Hayes [Laborers' Local 177]
CON
How can a group of people that talk so much about people's rights so easily tear up a law that takes people rights away.
02-08-2017
Robert Henderson []
CON
I am vehemently oppsed to HSB 84 as it is part of the ongoing effort by the majority republican party in the House and Senate as well as the Govenor to eridicate organized labor so the voice of bargaining unit employees is strangled into non existance. This is part of a regimen move toward A uthoritarian Goverment. This is still a Democracy and as such, labor must be at the table as a viable entity. HSB 84 is wrong and what this adminstartion is doing is unamerican.
02-08-2017
Bette Kaupa [Glenwood Resource Center]
CON
You really need to think hard before you consider passing such a bill. Public employees do work very hard and you want people to be able to work be able to work there for the state quality employees. Trying to get rid of collective bargaining is shortsighted in my opinion.
02-08-2017
Carol [Stotts]
CON
Seems like these two bills are being rushed along making it extremely difficult for the public to delve into what the results will be. Makes me think it is very intentional so the real aspects of these future laws cannot be debated. Shame on the writers of the bills and committee leaders for setting the quick dates for hearings at inopportuned times. I have been at the negotiating table. There have been meaningful conversations about what both sides wanted and the reasons why and we usually came to a respectful way to compromise. Our teaching environment is your child's learning environment. We don't negotiate on comforts of the teaching loungemost are now teaching places. We push for good air circulation, a mold free space and room to move around in a classroom to help your child. Have you had adequate time to research the results of these bills? I would like to see it. And not the ALEC version but one the state of Iowa has done. You know, similar to the one on the tax cuts to corporations that showed how that law would bring new businesses, higher paying jobs, and income to our state coffers. NOT!!
02-08-2017
Richie L Tague [UAW local 450]
CON
I am opposed to this bill and would like to speak
02-08-2017
TJ Foley []
CON
Union power is key to effective teachers, and effective teachers mean Iowa's students are successful and our future as a state is secure. As a young person I want to speak to advocate for a student voice, which is so often excluded from the political process. Therefore I respectfully request the ability to speak at this meeting and that the legislators on the panel reject this bill to preserve Iowa's education system.
02-08-2017
Paul Scally [Police Officer, New Hampton Police Dept.]
CON
Allowing an employer to just suspend or fire an employee for no reason and having no proper cause, is not fair. Personality conflicts along with politics of local governments could cost people their jobs, just because. What protections are offered to employees that are not civil service? It would be Chapter 20 of the iowa code. People have bills to pay and families to feed and need some protection that if they do their job, they will have a job to support their family. The stress that is will cause to many public employee workers knowing that their employer can basically fire them just because is a scary thought. There are too many politics in local governments and in general in the work place, employees need some protection against these elements. I understand the need to look at elements of Chapter 20, but taking away an employe's property interest in their job, a job they have worked hard to earn, is not fair or reasonable.Paul Scally
02-08-2017
Steven Kerber [AFSCME ]
CON
It is not easy working in the Public Sectors, I have worked with Local Governments as well as the State of Iowa. I am proud that my career has been public service through my working years.BUT, I have experienced unfair treatment or manipulation in local governments without the backing of collective barganing. Politics and management of personnel do not mix. I believe in collective bargaining because it creates and maintains a professional relationship between labor and management. It creates an expectation of proper and fair employment relationships.I do not work with the State of Iowa to become "rich". I work with the State because it is my home and my family generational history dates back to living and believing in building Iowa.This piece of proposed legislation does not support or encourage a relationship of equality and fairness. That is what I ask for and dream for my daughter's future in Iowa. This proposal does not support these commitments to a better and growing Iowa.Sincerely,Steven KerberAFSCME LOCAL 3018
02-08-2017
Victoria Rossander []
CON
For 22 years I have given up pay raises so I could have benefits such as health care. My union bargained in good faith. We did not hold the other side hostage if they did not agree to our proposal. Yet you are now demonizing us (public school teachers). Shame on you! Shame on you for lying to the public and telling them that this legislation is about tax reform when in fact it is really just about union busting. Shame on you.
02-08-2017
Luke Schut []
CON
This is not a bill that fixes a problem; it's a bill that creates a problem. Iowa's collective bargaining has been working fine for decades. Suddenly when the GOP gets the senate, we get this barely disguised unionbusting bill modeled after Wisconsin's devastating Act 10. This bill doesn't serve the interests of public employees, and it doesn't serve the interests of the average Iowan, either. When public employees are demoralized, underpaid, and generally disrespected, everyone who relies on their services suffers. This bill only benefits the governor's antiunion friends; it's unfortunate that a man who started as a relatively moderate, levelheaded politician has resorted to robbing Iowa's students of quality education just to make room for a couple more tax cuts for big businesses.
02-08-2017
Nancy Aleccia [AFSCME Council 61]
CON
I would be honored to speak on the negative ramifications to public employees on HSB84.
02-08-2017
Thomas Iannelli [Citizen of Iowa]
CON
I comment against the bill as it stands.In "Sec. 4. Section 20.7, subsections 2 and 3, Code 2017, are 11 amended to read as follows" you strike the clause in subsection 3 regarding "for proper cause" Public employers should have to show cause as those institutions are themselves publicly accountable.In 20.9 Scope of negotiations,several mentions are made of negotiating in good faith. Yet the legislation excludes many of the items that would be important to people when negotiating a contract. This contradicts itself as it does not appear to be negotiating in good faith.In 20.15 Elections agreements with the state. The amended version of this section puts an undo burden on the voting organization. If all of our legislative and executive representatives had to be elected not just by a simply majority of those who chose to vote, but a majority of all eligible voters in the requisite districts, precincts, etc. many would find it an onerous task.
02-08-2017
Anonymous []
CON
While I commend the work of saving collective bargaining rights for police officers and safety personnel, I vehemently disagree with the proposed bill that denies collective bargaining for other public workers, specifically educators, as I am one. Labor unions were put in place to better the lives of those who work with the public sector, in an effort to have a voice for all stakeholders. In addition, labor unions and collective bargaining denied workers the right to strike. Reducing or limiting the rights under Chapter 20 as they exist may lead to strikes by those whom you choose to ignore such as educators, nurses, transportation workers, etc. The very core of our public sector is at stake with this proposed bill; it will turn into a vicious cycle of undoing the good that's been done over the past 40+ years if Chapter 20 ceases to exist or is stripped to the bare minimum in terms of allowables in the negotiating process. Like many others in the public sector, I've committed my life's work to helping those in need. As an educator, in the State known for quality education, it seems as though we're being stricken of our voice in maintaining quality working conditions in order to do our life's work educating. Educators, by nature, at least those with whom I work, don't ask for the moon. They simply want to know that they're taken care of just as much as those in the private sector. What this proposed bill does, however, is the opposite. It limits our ability for "asks" and disallows for our sense of security from daytoday and yeartoyear. As a lifelong resident of Iowa and someone who is committed to teaching Iowa's early learners, I feel proud to call attention to my profession and state. What helps me in this feeling of pride is knowing that my family and I are secure in my position as a public school educator. Without collective bargaining rights, I can see a mass exodus of teachers highquality teachers who are ushered out the door because of their higher salary when compared to a firstyear teacher as well as their benefits that have accrued over the years. This mass exodus will leave Iowa's children without quality teachers who make a difference in the lives of these said children daily. It was enough to watch the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as the new Secretary of Education, and now adding the bill to limit collective bargaining rights completely upsets the worlds of educators across the state and nation. We are truly hurt. We now have an appointed Secretary of Education who has no experience in public education whatsoever, in addition to the worry of our rights to bargain in question. The beginning of this legislative session is certainly one for the books, and not in a good way. I urge you, the elected officials of Iowa, to genuinely consider the ramifications of changing any portion of Chapter 20. The fact is, no one really knows what will happen when legislation changes until it's put into effect. If Chapter 20 changes in any fashion, the ripple effect of those changes will be felt for generations to come. As a registered voter I expect my voice to be heard. Constituents account for your position in the Statehouse. That being said, it is my hope that those wishing to change portions of Chapter 20, or all of it for that matter, will listen to those in the public sector who do the work others choose not to do. We are a strong, united front, and we ask to be heard. I thank you for your time and dedication to Iowa's needs. I hope you consider the proposed changes in collective bargaining rights and your vote for such changes as much as you did your consideration of candidacy to run as an elected official to carryout the work of Iowa's citizens. You're in your position because we voted you in; a reversal of such position may be made during the next election cycle just as easily.
02-08-2017
Kent Mick [Grinnell High School]
CON
I hope that my thirty years as a high school teacher in Iowa will help provide legitimacy to my comments on HSB 84.
02-08-2017
Anonymous []
CON
Please do not cut the right to negotiate health insurance or raises. It is not fair to those of us who are highly qualified and skilled and do the best work we can each and every day waiting patiently for our annual raises. I earn less than 50,000 and am a single mother of four children. I understand that you want to make it fair to all Iowans, however, many Iowans in my financial situation would qualify for Hawki insurance at little cost for their children. Being a state employee I would not. I can not afford to pay the increase in health insurance. I already struggle to pay my $10 copays every time one of us have a medical appointment. Being fair is what is right but please look for other cost effective ways to reduce and deficit. I am only asking that you understand what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck. We all want to cut costs but you only get what you pay for. Additionally, state employees would no longer be competitive and able to provide the best services to our customers. Treat employees fair and right and it is a win win situation for all. I believe most state employees are over qualified for their positions and the state has some of the best employees.
02-08-2017
Joseph Phillips []
CON
This bill is an outlandish proposal and will do a great disservice to not only the public employees but to the youth of Iowa. As a teacher myself, I have sat in numerous meetings and even ushered Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds into our school. I have listened to her and Senator Chuck Grassley ( who also visited) talk about how we need to STEM UP Iowa and improve test scores for our students so that they may compete on a global level. They stress how students need to be college and career ready. How can they say all that, and then cut what few rights teachers have? If this bill is enacted, there will be a mass exodus of qualified educators. If anyone doubts this, I would encourage them to look to Wisconsin which passed a similar bill just a few years ago. The education available to promising Iowa youth will diminish because teaching will be a noble profession that does not put food on the table. I would highly encourage any and all representatives to not support these bills, as we are watching, our friends, families, and students are watching, and a friend of this bill is not a friend of education in Iowa thus not deserving of our vote in the future.
02-08-2017
Samuel Shaffer []
CON
As an educator in Iowa and I am exceptionally concerned about the upcoming House Study Bill 84. It is my understanding that many legislators are attempting to remove many protections for Iowa public employees (including teachers). As a born and raised citizen of Iowa, I am bound by my ethical and logical reasoning to inform you that any support of this bill would be contrary to a majority of countless public employees that serve selflessly and often at our own great personal expense to better the lives of the people of Iowa. I therefore implore you, Iowa's leaders, to staunchly oppose this bill that would effectively remove or substantially change bargaining rights, insurance, IPERS, and many other protections that public employees have earned and enjoy. I am concerned about the fallout that will come as a result of this bill if it is passed. You may not see the fallout immediately, but if you support this bill you will be negatively affecting the lives of thousands, including the future of the children of Iowa. If you remove all incentive to become a teacher or a public employee then you will see the already stretched teaching staffs of our schools become even more strained. Do not follow in the footsteps of once great education states like Wisconsin. Please be wise in your decision making. I pray that you will vote wisely. Please know that I am praying for you. Sincerely:Samuel ShafferIowa Educator
02-08-2017
Todd Crites [Grinnell High School]
CON
I urge you to vote NO on HSB 84 because this bill does nothing to create quality jobs for Iowans. In fact this bill does just the opposite by denying public employees the right to negotiate with their employers regarding working conditions and benefits. Denying workers a voice in these matters makes the quality of those workers' jobs worse, not better.Supporters of this bill point out that Iowa's public sector workers earn more than the state's private sector workers. Guess what? That's a good thing! It's what allows state and local governments to attract better qualified applicants, leading to better public service to ALL Iowans. And weakening public sector unions does nothing to increase the pay of Iowa's private sector workers.
02-08-2017
Tracey Till []
CON
The bill completely removes educator voices the ones closest to the classroom from the decisions being made. Negotiations are not just about wages, they are about decisions made that affect our students. This bill eliminates any discussion about those decisions. Where are the cost saving measures in the bill and where does this give more local control to our communities? This bill will cause a ripple effect hitting our rural communities hardest. How will we attract and retain the best and brightest in our profession with no voice in their profession and no incentives to move to harder to fill areas? Teaching in today's education system requires more than ever, new initiatives get added every day, more and more students coming to school with more and more needs, do more, give more, BUT get less... Take a stand against this bill. It is NOT right for Iowans!
02-08-2017
Anonymous []
CON
Allowing public employeesspecifically teachersno voice in their working conditions and benefits will result in veteran teachers retiring early, beginning teachers leaving the profession, a sharp decline in employee morale and a resulting decline in student achievement. Teacher shortage areas will become even more difficult to fill than they currently are. Rural districts will likely suffer the most as districts that can afford the "biggest and best" salary and benefits will attract the highest quality teachers and it won't take long before the rural districts simply become a revolving door of beginning teachers. The passage and signature of this bill will be the greatest of many failures of Governor Branstad's administration and will lead to the demise of public educationIowa's strongest economic recruitment vehicle. Just look at what has happened to education and student achievement in Wisconsin. Does history teach us nothing?
02-08-2017
Susan Cahill [Marshalltown Community School District/Marshalltown Education Association]
CON
I will be speaking in opposition of this bill.
02-08-2017
Anonymous [Department of Correctional Services]
CON
I am employed by the Department of Correctional Services as a Probation/Parole Officer. I started my career working with individuals in North East Iowa who were convicted of sex offenses. I transferred to the Dubuque field office and began supervising a caseload comprised of gang members. In 2009 I began supervising clients in the Dubuque and Delaware County Drug Court Program. My current office is located at the Dubuque Residential Facility. The facility houses, probationers, state work release inmates and federal inmates. I did not get into this profession to get rich. I followed this 20 + year career path to serve Iowa. I have worked days, nights and weekends. I have had calls in the middle of the night from law enforcement, clients and client's family members. My caseloads have been complex and dangerous. I have been assaulted and had my life threatened. Did I every question why I was in this profession? No. The only thing I want, like any citizen, is to be compensated fairly for my work and to have job security. I am middle class. I do not define myself as Republican or Democrat. Like most citizens, I vote based on my values and what is most important to me. Our union helps assure we are treated fairly. It assures we are not terminated without just cause. The years of service we give to the State is rewarded by seniorityjust like the private sector. Our contracts are negotiated and when things cannot be worked out, an arbitrator resolves the issue. It is fair and protects ALL involved. I also take care of my elderly, disabled father. I need to know I have security in my job. If passed, this bill will take that security away. I am only one state employee. Just one story. This bill will impact the quality of life for many Iowans...not just state employees. It is ironic to me that a labor committee would come up with such a bill. There is no good which can come from it and I respectfully ask all of you to vote no to HSB 84.
02-08-2017
Cheryl Fuller [.]
CON
I would like it to be known that I am opposed to the collective bargaining bill. I believe the term professional is sadly being diminished in the state of Iowa. This bill would completely eliminate "professional" decisions that affect students and educators in our state.Cheryl FullerMaquoketa, IA 52060
02-08-2017
Jacob Barker []
CON
I'm an educator in a Marshalltown, IA. I give my all for my students. My work is satisfying. But it's not enough. It doesn't pay the bills for the car (used), student loans (had to get this degree somehow), mortgage (cheaper then rent). I work a total of five jobs to make ends meet. I teach piano lessons, direct a Sweet Adeline's Chorus, direct three ensembles at Central Christian Church of Marshalltown, and Uber on the weekend that I travel to Des Moines. I do this because all of that helps to just barely pay all my bills. If you take collective bargaining away, I will be paid less in some way. I'll have sub par insurance, or few sick leave days, or my pay just might decrease. I can barely afford to be a teacher as it is. How do you expect to keep good teachers if you take our collective bargaining from us? We will turn into Wisconsin. Their economy is on low end of the states. They're experiencing a worse teacher shortage than we are. This is not what we want for outlet state. Get your hands off collective bargaining, and work instead on something that is broken. Mental health, Medicaid fiasco, anything else. Stop finding solutions in need of a problem.
02-08-2017
Kelli Harrison [UAW]
CON
The UAW represents over 10,000 UAW members throughout the state of Iowa, Private and public.We strongly oppose this bill!!!!
02-08-2017
Joshua Brown [N/A]
CON
I opposed HSB84 for multiple reasons but mostly because this is going to hurt the students and educators in the state of Iowa. This bill hurts our educators ability to speak up for their students at the negotiations table. As we are looking at trying to give control back to local school boards creating more prohibitive topics banning local elected officials and local teachers from making those decisions is going the wrong way. This law is state government overreach on our local public school districts. In addition, this bill is going to hurt our schools in attracting and retaining the best and brightest in our profession when they can find jobs in other states that will still respect them as professionals.
02-08-2017
Lauren Winter []
CON
Please vote no on the collective bargaining bill. Not only will it affect myself as a public school educator, it will also negatively impact the lives of the students I serve.
02-08-2017
Heidi Hassen [ ]
CON
My name is Heidi Hassen and I am a school counselor from Iowa City; I live in North Liberty. I am OPPOSED to the collective bargaining bill. Every day, I see the immense amount of work that teachers and other educators put into their jobs. They pour their own money and resources into their classrooms, work into the evenings, and on the weekends. They continue to pursue higher education and most educators I work with have their masters degree. They are highly trained and know best what kids need in the classroom because they are the people who are there, right next to kids, every single day. As a school counselor, I hear about the struggles that kids are dealing with at home and I see how it affects their learning and progress. Despite all the barriers presented to our students, I see teachers who never give up on Iowa's kids. They work harder and search for new methods so that each kid gets what they need to succeed.This collective bargaining bill is a shameless attack on Iowa's devoted public servants. Teachers receive the least amount of thanks for what they do and have one of the hardest jobs. They may not run into burning buildings, but that doesn't mean that we wouldn't be willing to step in front of a gun for our kids. Educators deserve to have a place at the table when deciding on our rights in the workplace, our hours, our compensation, our benefits, our insurance. This bill will harm many families in Iowa and especially affect our rural communities. It is misleading and wrong to tell Iowans that this will help save them money because there is no way this bill does that. You cannot balance the budget on the backs of educators, students, and other public servants while giving hundreds of millions in tax cuts to corporations.Vote No on HSB 84. This bill is bad for Iowa. It is wrong.
02-08-2017
Anonymous [Davenport Schools]
CON
This bill, if passed, will hurt Iowa's public employees, and all those who benefit from their services. When considering a career, people look at the compensation. Talent flows to areas with good pay and good working conditions. This bill would harm pay and working conditions. It violates the principle of home rule by specifically prohibiting democratically elected local officials from bargaining on topics such as insurance, evaluation, and grievances. In light of the legislature's unwillingness to provide adequate educational funding, it ensures that when staff positions are eliminated, more experienced, qualified, and therefore expensive employees will be the first ones to be cut. If we look at what similar changes have done to Wisconsin, the districts hurt most are rural, because they are forced to enter into bidding wars for qualified candidates. Iowa already has enough problems attracting young people to the state, this will not change that trend. As recorded in the Des Moines Register (http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/education/2017/01/11/iowareadiesteachershortage/96257920/) Iowa is already seeing a loss of interest in teaching as a career, and this bill will increase that loss.
02-08-2017
Tyler Higgs [Heartland Education Association]
CON
Public employees, like all citizens, have an unalienable right to pursue happiness. We have a 1st Amendment right to peacefully assemble and petition for a redress of grievances. This bill explicitly and unconstitutionally denies us that unalienable right without regard to our rights to due process and equal protection under the law.It establishes a "good ole boys" network whereby "suckups" are rewarded and innovators who challenge the status quo are punished. It forces employers to ignore (against their will) the knowledge that comes from years of hard work and experience.It denies people the right to even talk with their boss about problems in the workplace. It arbitrarily targets people who help each other out and collaborate on how to make their workplace better. It eliminates the ability of employees to collaborate with their employers to find solutions to employment problems.This is a flawed and poorly planned bill that hurts employees and employers for no reason other than to advance a partisan political agenda.Vote no on HSB 84.
02-08-2017
Kelli Splinter []
CON
I oppose this bill. This will hurt our students. Negotiations are not only about wages, but also factors that directly affect our students. Iowa students deserve a first class education, but how will we provide that when we are pushing teachers out of the profession by taking away collective bargaining rights?
02-09-2017
Carrie Dodd []
CON
Both my husband and I work in school districts. I am a veteran teacher (15 years) and he is a maintenance worker at another district. If this bill passes, we would be financially devastated if we lost our insurance, received lower pay, had to work more for less, etc. It has gotten to the point where we are even discussing leaving the state. This makes me so sad. I've lived here my entire lifeall 40 yearsand I never thought I'd go anywhere else but with the lack of support and funding for education and now this, the message is clear to usyou don't care about us at all so why would we stay? It's even gotten to the point where I'm considering changing professionsanother thing I never thought I would do as teaching is my love and life but we can't pay our mortgage with love.PLEASE vote NO on these bills that put our livelihoods and future on the line. I want to continue living in the state I love and teaching but I can't do that in a place that doesn't support me, believe in my abilities (I have a Master's Degree by the way), or allow me the right to collectively bargain.I hope that you'll hear our voices and do the right thing by supporting public workers who didn't go into these professions to get rich but who love what we do enough that we make it work every month because that's the sacrifice we make to make a difference in the lives of others.Carrie Dodd
02-09-2017
Jerry Uhlman [Communication Workers Local 7102]
CON
All working people should have the right to organize and bargain collectively. All issues pertaining to the work place should be on the table and part of bargaining.
02-09-2017
Sandy Peterson [None]
CON
I'm not sure if I will speak or not.
02-09-2017
William Gerhard [Iowa State Building and Construction Trades Council]
CON
Comments have not been formulated to date. A hard copy will be submitted at the hearing.
02-09-2017
Kirby VanWey [SEP ISEA]
CON
After 31 years as a dedicated educator, I am appalled by this bill. Why are we under attack? Makes me question my career decision.
02-09-2017
Ronald Zelle [Nashua Plainfield Agriculture Education Department and FFA Advisor]
CON
I would like to express my extreme concern and frustration on HSB 84 and SF 213. These bills will do extreme damage to education and schools in Iowa. I have 34 years of teaching experience and over 25 years of negotiations experience of working together with teachers, school boards and administrators to improve our local school. As the school board member told us across the bargaining table just under a month ago we have a great school, great teachers and great working relations and they (school board) do not have any intentions of taking apart what is working for both sides in the form of our contract. For the past 15 years only minor changes have been proposed by either the School Board or Association due to the fact we have a contract that is working and protects both the interest of the public school and the teachers that are represented. We work with a winwin attitude to accomplish solving problems in mutual agreement with both sides of the table. The prohibiting of many items will make devastating changes to our school that the board, administration and staff do not want and will cause harm. Neither staff nor school board members are in favor of this legislation, which will prevent negotiations of all except basic wages and forced removal of items of mutual agreement we have worked on. Benefits of many items removed will create hardships in the district. I am available for more conversation on this subject. I do understand the possible need to reform arbitration procedures but not destroying the positive work that has happened in schools the last 40 years. I am old enough to have worked with individuals who worked prior to collective bargaining in our school and we learned from history the benefits of working together with schools on improvement, which is how it is now. Please change the bill significantly to regain what is good for public safety is good for all public employees or defeat it in the interest of protecting Iowa schools and our children. Sincerely Ronald Zelle
02-09-2017
Rick Smith [None]
CON
http://iowastartingline.com/2017/02/06/republicanattackspolicefirefightersteachershurtiowa/
02-09-2017
Joshua Levai-Baird [West Liberty Community School District]
CON
Note of fact. The Republican party which has recently lied about crowd sizes and attacks regarding Saudi frigates and Iran and openly espouses "alternative facts" is overwhelmingly against teachers, public education, and unions that support and work on behalf of those students, families, and teachers.The party continues to pass laws restricting liberties, restricting collective bargaining which is guaranteed under our first amendment rights of speech and assembly. Yet simultaneously they are facilitating the reduction of taxes, regulation, and oversight over corporations and their billionaire benefactors. This is an attack on our liberties. Defend our rights. Defend our students. Defend our communities. Take care of one another.
02-09-2017
Chris Rolwes [Cedar Rapids Community Schools]
CON
This bill is not good policy. Teachers and other public employees should be able to bargain for items other than salary. This leads to better working conditions and better learning opportunities for our students. We do our jobs with our students in mind and need to be able to have some element of choice or control in what our work environment should look like. This bill could also hurt coaches and other directors who are paid from a separate contract. This bill eliminates those types of contracts. If there are changes that should be made to improve the long term stability of collective bargaining, then do them in good faith. Make sure those that are impacted are at the table. This bill was written in secret with little input from those that it will effect the most. In addition to teaching fulltime, I also own and operate a small business in the Cedar Rapids area. I am also a tax payer and recognize the value of all of our public employees. All work is honorable work. This bill denigrates those that have taken on a calling of working with students of all abilities and who serve the public in anyway. Please be mindful of the changes you could be imposing and slow down this process and allow those of us who have worked in schools to be part of the process. I have yet to have any Republican legislators respond to any of my comments. If you consider this to be good policy, please call me at 3195736378. I would be interested in your views. Chris Rolwes
02-09-2017
Valerie Gunhus [Northeast Iowa Community College]
CON
I have been a loyal Iowa community college faculty member for 24 years. I have always been proud to be a teacher in Iowa, where our students excel because of dedicated teachers and where a measure of respect for teachers has prevailed up until now. Taking away the collective bargaining rights we have had will deflate our spirit, reflect badly on Iowa's reputation for teachers and high quality students. Who in their right mind will graduate and want to come to Iowa to teach after you strip the Iowa teacher of these rights? The students ultimately will pay the price as high quality teachers go elsewhere. Please maintain integrity to the teaching profession by voting no on the bill to cut collective bargaining / negotiation topics. Sincerely, Valerie Gunhus
02-09-2017
Rodney Mulder [BMWED]
CON
Why bring the standard of living and benefits down instead of raising those same living standards and benefits to all. If you brought those standards upward, it would bring more tax income for the state immediately in the form of state income taxes with every payroll.Whenever you give tax breaks and incentives to corporations it takes years to realize any return on such investments, and most situations never can repay those investments.
02-09-2017
William Gerhard [Iowa State Building and Construction Trades Council]
CON
Comments have not been formulated. A copy of comments will be provided on day of public hearing.
02-09-2017
Allison Ritchie [none]
CON
As a tax paying citizen I am speaking up to encourage the entire Republican party to separate yourselves from party line on this issues and VOTE NO on the Chapter 20 collective bargaining bill.I understand your campaign purse strings are hindering entirely on the Governor's efforts to dismantle collective bargaining in the State of Iowa as this is just a beginning with public employees. You will be HURTING over 140,000 public employees within this State and negatively affecting EVERYBODY.This is NOT what YOU campaigned on. NOT ONE of YOU said you were going to write or support gutting Iowa's collective bargaining laws and for good reason. YOU knew it was wrong.The corporate 'clients' being represented in Des Moines by their private lobbyist are not Iowans. They do feel nor care about ANY Iowan. YOU DO. You have even said so in your campaign materials and your ads to convince the voters to elect you.You would help this State get back on track and do the right things for workers.This is NOT the right thing to do to Iowans.You were NOT elected to support this gutting and cutting of RIGHTS of the citizens of this State, but you have been ordered to by the grand ol champ, who is headed for China, and will not have to deal with the fallout across the State because of this.Please, be your own person, listen to your conscience, and VOTE NO on the collective bargaining Chapter 20 bill.Thank you.Allison RitchieA Tax Payer and Resident of Iowa
02-09-2017
Anonymous []
CON
Taking away collective bargaining will hurt the entire state, as well as the employees affected. Teachers and anyone else interested in a career in civil service will move to other states where they still have a chance of having health insurance and collective bargaining. Teacher pay is already notoriously low, and they often use their pay to buy things for their classrooms. People in jobs at the state, county, or city are paid by job level, not merit. People in the private sector can get raises based on merit. People in government can only get raises by changing jobs, if they are able to get a higher level job. Rarely are jobs upgraded to a higher level. I was a level 16 for 18 years and am now a 17. I have 23 years in and will probably retire in 7 years. The health insurance helps to make up for the fact that I've only gotten cost of living increases for years, not actual raises. If I had known that I could lose my health insurance, I would have moved to another state years ago. It's really unfair and is going to be devastating to me to take away my insurance when I'm 60 years old and can't afford to move to another state.
02-09-2017
Jill Myers []
CON
As a public school teacher I am opposed to this bill. We are already being given less that what it we need to work effectively in our classroom and now you want to take away our ability to earn what we've all worked so hard for, a livable wage. Please stop the fast track of this bill and let us continue to work together to create a fair and productive work environment in the public sector.
02-09-2017
Michael S. Doak [7th Judicial District of Iowa Department of Corrections]
CON
I am a public servant who votes all elections including all primaries and special elections. My duties include protecting the public. I along with my coworkers are well trained and professional. I am asking...no begging legislators to vote NO on collective bargaining changes. I can only see this as another way to eliminate the middle class and can only result in lower pay and less qualified, less professional workers doing the important job of keeping our community safe. I see this change as double talk from the politicians. What I am referring to is all the talk about keeping America safe from terrorist but yet you want to cut the wages and benefits from the same people who are trained to keep our communities safe. Explain that.
02-09-2017
Kevin Vosberg [Retired Teamster ]
CON
This is another example of our legislative groups driving good jobs out, which leads to our youth leaving Iowa to make a better living! Thus losing the best workers in most cases. Collective Bargaining is the fairest method of wage and benefit negotiations . The issues you are discussing were agreed to by the employer and the voice of the bargaining unit. It's a two way street, haven't seen any mention of cuts on management level workers and Department heads! Thank You, Kevin Vosberg
02-09-2017
Nanette Beau [Maquoketa Community Schools]
CON
I would like to go on public record to let the Republicans in Iowa know that gutting the collective bargaining laws in our state will have devastating consequences to not only public workers, but to our students. Destroying public education is NOT what most Iowans want. Please reconsider your position, before decimating the teaching profession and the future of our children who attend public schools.
02-09-2017
George Herman [College Community School Dist]
CON
I would like to recommend that this legislation not move beyond this hearing. With the current language in this bill, harm will be done not only to the collective bargaining rights of public employees but also to the over 180,000 public employees livelihood. Collective bargaining has been largely successful for all parties for a long time. Collective bargaining allows for mutually agreed upon rules to help govern the work place. Note that this is mutually agreed upon rules. Collective bargaining allows employees and employers to work together to put in place rules that govern; leaves of absence, staff transfers and reductions, evaluative procedures, and termination procedures as well as wages, vacations, holidays, etc. These mutually agreed upon rules allow employees and employers to clearly understand employment rules and procedures and allows both parties to have some say in these procedures. Removing the bargaining process destroys this collective input process to create fair and understandable rules and procedures. In essence, this legislation will destroy the cooperative atmosphere that has been in place for more than 40 years. Tweaking the law will only destroy a system that has worked well for both parties, despite what some say has created an unfair advantage for public employees. It is a fair and cooperative system.
02-09-2017
Anonymous [Tri-County Education Association]
CON
I strongly oppose this bill, as it will hurt educators by removing all collective bargaining rights.
02-09-2017
Amanda Molsberry [Concerned Parent]
CON
I urge you to vote no on HSB84. I am a mother of three kids and I value our public schools, nurses, and government workers. I moved to Iowa City 6 months ago and was excied to put my kids in your public schools because I had heard how great they were!! I am starting to regret my decision because my stripping away the rights of public workers you are putting economic growth and good wages for hard workers at the very bottom. I am incredibly disheartened to see the way you are proposing to make life much harder for the teachers who already work incredibly hard. My daughter is in first grade and between the two classrooms there are 50 children. Her teacher works so hard and the principal and school create a great learning environment. By stripping away teachers collective bargaining, you make it harder and harder for wonderful people like my child's teacher to want to stay here. Wisconsin did what you are proposing and it has devastated their teachers. Teachers are fleeing the state. Do you really want that to happen here in Iowa? You promised good jobs and looking out for the Iowa worker. By passing this legislation, you will lose voters. You are harming the very thing that is most important to Iowans good schools, fair wages, and jobs.
02-09-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I am urging the Labor Committee to vote No on SF 213.
Attachment
02-09-2017
Victoria Bond [Edgewood-Colesburg School District]
CON
My name is Victoria Bond and I am a teacher from the EdgewoodColesburg Community School District. I am opposed to the collective bargaining bill because: The bill completely removes educator voices the ones closest to the classroom from the decisions being made. Negotiations are not just about wages, they are about decisions made that affect our students. This bill eliminates any discussion about those decisions. Where are the cost saving measures in the bill and where does this give more local control to our communities? Educators and other employees have been stripped of control and local school boards are not allowed to discuss most topics with those in the classroom. This bill will cause a ripple effect hitting our rural communities hardest. How will we attract and retain the best and brightest in our profession with no voice in their profession and no incentives to move to harder to fill areas?
02-09-2017
Denise T. Imoehl [Postville Community School District]
CON
Attachment
02-09-2017
Cindy Swanson [Retired Social Worker - AEA ]
CON
I am opposed to this bill due to many reasons. I am a retired support professional that served 22 school districts for over 28 years working with effective Iowa teachers and administrators. First, the collective bargaining process has worked well in Iowa and just because Chapter 20 was created in the 70's does not discredit the effectiveness of the process in the way it has worked for public sector workers in Iowa. The manner in which this bill was drafted and what it contains, totally demoralizes the people who do the work every day and was done without their input or voice. The statements that have been made by the Governor and Republican representatives demonstrates they do not accurately reflect what those in the field experience for instance the cost of insurance for many of the teachers, as stated in press conferences ($20.00 a month) is not accurate. Please listen to the voices of your constituents and those that this bill directly impacts as you will not hear the support for the bill you putting through a fast track for signing. We Will remember in November!!!
02-09-2017
Dave McGlaughlin [citizen]
CON
It is respectfully requested you do not try to fix what is not broken. Collective bargaining in Iowa works.Please also remember who put this bill into action Republican Governor Robert D. Ray. You should not tamper with his legacy as he was an outstanding leader for Iowa.Dave McGlaughlin
02-09-2017
Kendall Clark []
CON
For decades, Terry Brandstad has sought to balance the budget on the backs of the State of Iowa employees. Terry Brandstad is suggesting that the collective bargaining system is antiquated and that it isn't fair to ask a worker to be governed by such an antiquated system. I would challenge lawmakers to produce any such person employed by the State of Iowa that is complaining about being under the jurisdiction of system.
02-09-2017
Jim Liuzzo [ASSUME LOCAL 12]
CON
Don't take our rights away. We need to live and be proud of where we work.
02-09-2017
Danielle Kleinhesselink [HMSEA]
CON
I oppose this bill because it will greatly affect especially the rural communities, let alone all schools, to attract trained professionals to serve all of the students in the public schools if our voice is being taken away. Teachers should have a voice into bargaining their pay, insurance, etc.If this bill passes, the education of our students will be greatly affected to the negative as with fewer funding opportunities, the ability to keep experienced and trained teachers will decline. Please do not pass this bill. Please think of how many people's lives you will be affecting. I urge you to rethink this and get to know public education more before you start writing bills that could essentially kill public education.
02-09-2017
Anonymous [Civil ]
CON
This bill will destroy iowa workers and make us want to move away from iowa how is that going to save iowa money
02-09-2017
Suzy Card [Parent]
CON
The HSB 84 bill is a draconian bill that is only meant to silence public employees. You did not campaign on getting rid of collective bargaining, nor should it be a priority since it's worked for 40 years. Please vote with your conscience and say NO to HSB84.
02-09-2017
Gary T. Zmolek [self]
CON
I am a lifelong Iowa resident, retired from teaching in the public school system for 36 years. I was named the Beloit College Elementary Teacher of the Year in 1991. I coached individual speech for 35 years and I was named to the Iowa High School Speech Association Hall of Fame in 2014. Since retirement, I have been a substitute teacher, primarily in the Marshalltown Community School District, and I have taught in classrooms K12 in every subject, special education classes, English Language Learner classes, and Talented and Gifted classes. I will bring a perspective from a broad range of teaching experiences, and as a representative, not of a union, but of myself and on behalf of the many teachers with and for whom I have worked.
02-09-2017
Shelley Wach [Mrs.]
CON
"Busting" unions in Iowa will not save the taxpayer any money as touted by the Republican controlled legislature. Allowing school districts and their subsequent associations to negotiate/bargain contracts and articles within those contracts is the BEST way to save dollars. School negotiation teams are well versed in school finance! School Associations do not want to bust a school district's budget! Associations strive to reach an equitable balance between wages and benefits and what a school district can afford. Low wages, no benefits, and no voice in the vocation of choice for educators will be disastrous for Iowa's children. They are the future of this State and that is NOT just a cliche!!
02-09-2017
Dave Moore []
CON
How many Iowans asked for this? Written behind closed doors by out of state lobbyists who are paid by billionaires. Who will benefit? This is going to be just another way to shift money from working people to the wealthy. I guess I won't be replacing my 16 year old car any time soon.
02-09-2017
Laura craig-sheets [Afscme council 31]
CON
I would like to speak regarding how this bill effects current and retired driver license examiners and investigatorspeace officers
02-09-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I am opposed to the changes proposed. Here are several reasons why I am opposed:1. I will no longer have a voice as an educator who is closet to the students than any other position. I want to have the same right as safety officers to negotiate more than just wages. Educators interact with our youth must more than even them. 2. What cost saving measures in the bill give more local control to our communities? Educational administration already leaves educators out of pertinent decisions.3. This bill will cause a ripple effect hitting our rural communities hardest. Community colleges who are training our future work forces may not be able to attract and retain the best and brightest in our profession. It will leave no voice in our profession and no incentives to move to harder to fill areas that need filling.4. I think this bill is being rushed without enough thought of the consequences.I look forward to a "NO" vote.
02-09-2017
Anonymous [DMACC]
CON
Could there possibly be enough Republicans to vote to defeat these bills?
02-09-2017
Alana Anderson []
CON
It is unfortunate that so many actions have been take to decrease the quality of life in Iowa and across the country. This bill has no benefit to the tax payers of this state. All it will succeed in doing is making public employees work harder for less, prevent people from working in Government and decrease goods and services that are paid for by the tax payers. It's shameful that the Republicans have been on a mission for years to end public education and vilify teachers. Why are they so against education? For years everyone was concerned about the "brain drain" in Iowa. I guess the Republicans have solved that problem by destroying public education. If a student can't get a good education in Iowa they can hardly leave the state and take that good education with them.
02-09-2017
Christine [University of Iowa]
CON
I urge you to vote NO on Chapter 20 changes. As the Iowa Policy Project has said, these changes to 119,000 working Iowans lives would: Cost the taxpayers substantial amounts of money Create more red tape in government Decrease accountability Lower Iowans wages Accelerate brain drain Increase income inequality Disproportionately hurt rural areas of Iowa Widen the gender pay gap Cause staff shortages in education and in health careAs the Labor Center has noted, the current bargaining law, Chapter 20, was a carefullycrafted compromise based on input from labor, legislators, and the public that has worked well for over 40 years. The current bill was designed behind closed doors without public input or discussion. There is no reason to rush through drastic changes to the law that would hurt Iowans.
02-09-2017
Angela Fogle [Kennedy High School]
CON
I am a lifelong Iowan. I was raised in a family which was supported by union membership. My Dad spent 30+ years working for the City Engineering Dept. and my Mom spent 10+ years working at MHI in Independence. Collective Bargaining allowed my family to maintain a middle class standard of living. We weren't rich, but we did ok. I am now a teacher and have raised my children in a middle class family supported by collective bargaining. I'm not rich but we've done ok. Neither my parents or I have had to go on strike, worry about being laid off, wonder where our health care would come from all thanks to collective bargaining agreed upon many years ago. Again, we are not getting rich off the state we are simply providing services to our communities that also allow us to remain middle class citizens.We are not Wisconsin. We are Iowa and have always maintained a sense of shared community, middle class values. The collective bargaining bill is an attack on Iowa's middle class and "Iowa Nice" I have always been proud to live in a state with excellent natural resources, efficient and good public services and strong public schools. The implementation of this law will erode those things that we Iowan's hold dear and I would ask you to vote No on these resolutions. We Iowans are better than this...
02-09-2017
Deacon Michael L. McCarthy [AFSCME Chapter 61 Retirees]
CON
I wish to speck.
02-09-2017
Carrie Borchert []
CON
Do not pass this bill. I speak on behalf of MANY education students at the U of I, we will seek teaching jobs elsewhere if this passes. We'll seek employment in states that VALUE rather than CONDEMN the public sector. We need to be able to negotiate because we don't enter this field for the "big bucks". We enter the education field to TEACH and NURTURE young minds regardless of race, religion, ethnicity..etc. It would not be fair to place the extra burden of higher cost healthcare on our shoulders. We have enough to worry about with education. The education system places much stress on the shoulders of teachers. You already cut our school funding this week please DO NOT pass HSB 84 as a double punishment. Thank you.
02-09-2017
Ruth Ann Gallagher [EIFA]
CON
Please reconsider HSB84.
02-09-2017
Pat Shipley [Iowa State Education Association]
CON
Changes proposed in HSB 84 and SF 213 are damaging to students, schools, public employees and communities. There is no data to support such sweeping changes to Chapter 20. It will be damaging to rural areas by escalating the teacher shortage and retention of quality education employees. There is no data that there is a public outcry for these changes. This is intended to damage unions and public employees. The unintended consequences will include harm to public education, rural economy and rural communities. The changes should not be supported. There was no attempt to engage the individuals this impacts. This bill should not be approved.
02-09-2017
Michael Weber [ISEA]
CON
As a young science teacher in rural Iowa I foresee this being the bill as being the primary reason that I would consider leaving the teaching profession before retirement age. I am a college educated person working in my degree field, and I currently live paycheck to paycheck. I take a relatively lower salary than someone else working in their own degree field because I get a good long term retirement plan, affordable insurance, and the right to negotiate for a reasonable increase in my base pay. If those aspects of the job start to disappear then people like me will start to leave the profession, and the education system as a whole will suffer. Does there need to be changes to educational system? Absolutely. Are the proposed changes in this bill ones that will negatively impact students? Absolutely.Please do not pass this bill. We can handle having smaller pay increases on years when there are budget shortfalls. To take away our job security and to not allow us even a reasonable cost of living increase on a yearly basis puts an unreasonable strain on the people who are responsible for molding the the leaders of the future.Please do not limit and negatively impact the future of thousands of young Iowans.
02-09-2017
Christian Baughman []
CON
This bill will not only hurt the families of Iowa's public employees, but the very institutions they serve and by extent all Iowans. Please vote no.
02-09-2017
Ann McBee [Des Moines Area Community College]
CON
Its very important that teachers are allowed to negotiate decisions that affect our students. Our work environment is their learning environment. This bill eliminates any discussion about those decisions.Its unlikely that this bill will serve either as a significant cost saving measure or provide more local control to our communities. A similar bill passed in Wisconsin failed to accomplish either of these objectives. This bill will most adversely affect rural communities when the best and brightest educators, given no incentive and no voice in their profession, are no longer attracted to positions in harder to fill areas.
02-09-2017
Denise Lawrence [TEA - Tripoli, Iowa]
CON
I am against the signing of this bill. I am wondering why this bill came up after there was no discussion of it in the election, kind of out of the blue. It feels like a personal attack on teachers, teachers rights, and salaries. This bill would remove Educators voices and any discussion we would have with our local school boards about school issues. We are the ones in the classroom and know best about our students. What are the cost saving measures that would take place with this bill? I don't believe there are any. Our school district has worked well in the bargaining arena since 2000 when I came to Tripoli. I don't see that it needs to change.We will lose quality teachers in Iowa.
02-09-2017
Catherine Mussett [ISEA, ISNA]
CON
I am a nurse in a school that employs about 50 associates. Associates work in schools all over the state. They work for about $15,000 per year caring for handicapped students, changing diapers, feeding, escorting students about the school. They assist the student in the classroom. They work with students with behavior issue, they are hit, punched, scratched and bitten. There health insurance is $200/year. I have asked many of them over the years if they could keep this job without the insurance. They always answer no, they would quit. It's so difficult as it is to find workers who have the tenacity, patience and dedication to do this job. I can't imagine how these students will be able to attend school without these associates to care for them. The ISEA negotiates our salaries year after year trading salary increases for health insurance so our low paid school workers can insure their families. We are not getting this health insurance rates without sacrifice. It is our choice. I urge legislators to allow us to let us keep our right to bargain collectively to choose what is the best for our school workers.
02-09-2017
Willis Harte [Cedar Rapids Community School District]
CON
This bill, like so much of what the Republicanled Iowa legislature is currently considering, is a poorlydisguised attempt to undermine the wellbeing of Iowans young and old for personal and political gain. HSB 84 is nothing more than an attack on the livelihood of public employees by an amateur cabal whose lack of understanding on matters of fiscal policy is matched only by its lack of vision when it comes to the future of our great state. As a high school teacher and coach with nearly 2 decades experience, I am dismayed by the glaring hostility towards teachers and public employees that this bill represents. Its meanspirited sponsors, who were not elected on a platform dedicated to this kind of nonsense, should be ashamed. All other Iowans, I think it's safe to say, should be outraged. To think that it has come to this!
02-09-2017
Amber Fairbanks []
CON
I am opposed to the collective bargaining bill because: The bill completely removes educator voices the ones closest to the classroom from the decisions being made. Negotiations are not just about wages, they are about decisions made that affect our students. This bill eliminates any discussion about those decisions. Where are the cost saving measures in the bill and where does this give more local control to our communities? Educators and other employees have been stripped of control and local school boards are not allowed to discuss most topics with those in the classroom. This bill will cause a ripple effect hitting our rural communities hardest. How will we attract and retain the best and brightest in our profession with no voice in their profession and no incentives to move to harder to fill areas?
02-09-2017
Diane Berner [Teacher]
CON
I was born in Iowa and have always been proud to be from a state that values education and hard work. I am also proud to be a teacher and a member of the Iowa State Education Association. Union employees show up and get the job done. We are the backbone of our economy and communities. Union employees historically receive better pay and benefits, which keeps us off welfare and Medicaid. We pay more taxes and contribute to our pensions. Wisconsin is facing a teacher shortage which is attributed to lower pay, worse working conditions, and a lack of respect. Diminishing our ability to negotiate will damage our economy and schools. Talented, dedicated teachers will leave Iowa. Governor Branstad's website states that two of his goals are to increase family income by 25% and to have the best schools in the nation. These bills will kill both those goals. We are not trying to bankrupt the state. We are trying to build the state. We live, work, and plan to retire here. We aren't asking for more than we deserve. The current law gives us a seat at the table. I don't think that is too much to ask. Please show some Midwestern values and stand behind the working class instead of the wealthy who five want to pay their taxes.
02-09-2017
Marcus A Patten []
CON
We, as public employees, give our entire "selves" to our craft. We are police men and women, firefighters, nurses, and teachers all the time. Not just between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day. We are do not EVER STOP being what our occupation dictates. We work many, many long days and nights without ever receiving compensation for our extra and extended work hours. When we are buying groceries, we are still teachers, nurses etc. We never, ever take off that cap we so proudly wear. As such, we deserve in the least job/life security.
02-09-2017
Jenn Smith []
CON
I am speaking on behalf of my fellow coworkers, family and friends! I did not Vote for any of you, not did any of my family or friends, for you to come into office and rip us apart! Do any of you pay for your health insurance? Does Terry Branstand pay for his health insurance? How can any of you in office sleep at night knowing what you are doing to the Iowa people? I am mortified and ashamed at all of you. I am also a member of the union and work for the University and have for 18 years now! Who are you or anyone else to decide who is a good employee or a bad employee? I couldn't have my own children, so I chose to Adopt through the foster care system, so I could be a mother to the kids and babies that needed one. With that, We, my family, adopted 2 children that the same mother and father, decided that smoking meth, Weed, and drinking alcohol was way more important that giving birth to healthy normal babies. My children have very special needs that we deal with everyday. We chose that and are proud of them everyday! They are beautiful girls, that never had a fighting chance from day 1. The school system has gone above and beyond to help my child who is 8 now and still cannot give herself a bath, who cannot jump rope, who cries 80% of her life cause she can't control her emotions, and these teachers, whom you don't care about, mean something to her and myself. I hope you enjoy your time in office because within 3 weeks you have turned this state upside down, and lost every ounce of trust you ever had, and we will make sure you never have the chance to destroy us again! When you decide to make things "fair" and make it so You and all your fellow pals in the state house pay for your health insurance like you want us to do...then we can talk! Until then, do NOT tell me whats good for my family or the other hundreds of thousands other families you are deciding for!
02-09-2017
Steve Bunn [Oelwein Community Education Association/ISEA]
CON
This bill is very damaging. Many workers have sacrificed wages over the years for insurance and other benefits that this bill is ripping out of employee hands. This bill is not supported by teachers and administrators alike. I do not understand how our Republican leaders can take away something that has worked for the past 40 years. With this bill schools are going to have a harder time keeping good teachers that dedicate their lives to their students. Steve Bunn
02-09-2017
Chandra Snicker [Waukee Community School District]
CON
Collective bargaining is the fabric of public service. It is not special treatment, it is not unfair; it is what helps teachers and administration come to fair arrangements. It is what keeps public workers safe and protected. Doing away with this will see an impact felt by ALL of Iowan society, not just those who lose this protection.
02-09-2017
Tad Mueller []
CON
Teachers are professionals and as professionals they are there to do what is best for their students. This bill will place teachers on edge in the classroom afraid that they may say or do something that will irritate the child of a local school board member or community leader which will lead to disciplinary action or termination in which they can not defend themselves.This will lead to robotic type education and the loss of creativity that has produced the great education system we have in Iowa.
02-09-2017
Wally Moll []
CON
We have a collection bargaining laws that has worked for 40 years. Laws can have negative unpredictable effects if not carefully written. This proposed bill implements massive changes and he possible negative results of massive and it appears the contemplation of such negative results have not been seriously considered.
02-09-2017
Ben Ressler [ISEA]
CON
My name is Ben Ressler and I am a teacher from Wester Dubuque I am opposed to the collective bargaining bill because:The bill completely removes educator voices the ones closest to the classroom from the decisions being made. Negotiations are not just about wages, they are about decisions made that affect our students. This bill eliminates any discussion about those decisions.Where are the cost saving measures in the bill and where does this give more local control to our communities? Educators and other employees have been stripped of control and local school boards are not allowed to discuss most topics with those in the classroom.This bill will cause a ripple effect hitting our rural communities hardest (like Westers Dubuque). How will we attract and retain the best and brightest in our profession with no voice in their profession and no incentives to move to harder to fill areas?Teaching is an incredibly rewarding profession it has many positives. The profession attracts people who are willing to work hard and give back. I don't know a single teacher who only works their contracted hours. At WD our parking lot is full after hours and our teacher frequent the building and their rooms all summer long. Taking away our voice is a terrible mistake. Advocates of the bill say we are an overpaid profession in Iowa. I call into question that data. In fact, many legislators have pointed out errors in the report. Regardless, if you added the hours outside of a contract that teachers work you would find that they are grossly underpaid. We need our voice to continue to put our youth around the best and the brightest in the profession. Future generations depend on it.
02-09-2017
Beth Boeding [State Employee]
CON
I am very sadden the current government of Iowa is looking at passing HSB 84 and SF 123. I am appalled that those we have elected to represent us will not actively listen to the people of this state. Instead they choose to punish public service workers for the dedication they have to helping others. Chapter 20 limits our ability to fight for your families benefits while essentially holding us hostage by also not allowing us to strike. This speaks volumes to me of the intentions of this current state government. I chose to serve families feeling it was an honorable way to contribute to society; however our state government is sending us the message that we are a drain on society/taxpayers. By passing this small communities will be damaged economically as 200,000 Iowans will suffer directly from the decisions you are making. I am a mother, wife, grandmother, union sister and a tax payer. I hope you vote with the voice of those you represent not the voice of those who wish to break Iowa families!!
02-09-2017
Anonymous [AFSCME ]
CON
I am 13 year state employee. I strongly oppose this bill. It is an attack on people who have chosen a career serving their fellow Iowa citizens. I have always been a proud participant in civic processes, such as voting and jury duty and am now asking for your support. Please vote against changes to Chapter 20. Sincerely, Lori PlattA Proud Iowa Citizen
02-09-2017
Dan Kiley [Anamosa Education Association]
CON
Back in 1974, ISEA had to agree to make it illegal for teachers to go on strike, in order to be included in Chapter 20. If the Legislature takes our bargaining rights away, will they reinstate our right to go on strike?
02-09-2017
Anonymous [DMPS]
CON
Education is very important , I don't understand how we are to cut what is our children and grandchildren the future . I believe this will just create more crime and there is already enough. the DMPS has been my life I care about helping the children of the future . if you make cut's in our pay ,health insurance and or hire private company's to do our job's . we as employees will look for other job's . and if you hire people and pay them less money they wont care you wont get the quality of people or trustworthy people to do our job's . we are hard working people who have family's to care for too.
02-09-2017
Robin VanKeulen []
CON
I believe all of the state employees should be able to negotiate their wages and benefits. The jobs that are being done by these people are worth far more than the wage and benefits that they do receive. Taking away fheir right to bargain just says that they are trivial and worth less. That is just not true.
02-09-2017
Rob Johnson [none]
CON
Would you please explain why this terrible law is necessary?Why do you want to take rights to negotiate so many things away from workers?This law will reduce the quality of education in Iowa and will drive talented young teachers away. I come from a 4th generation family of Iowa teachers and your bill will drive away the young teachers away to other states. My relatives in WI already moved. Shame on you.Shame on you.
02-09-2017
Janese [Milam]
CON
I do not make much money. I work for the benefits. You take those away, you will not have anyone that would be willing to work in the public sectors. People would not be able to afford to work for the State and the people you say you work for the benefit of, will not get provided services their tax dollars pay for or the safety they have grown accustomed to. And that would be on your shoulders if you let this pass.
02-09-2017
Anonymous [ AFSCME Council 61]
CON
Vote NO on HSB 84/SF 213. I am a registered Republican, but also a union member. I believe that Unions have pro's and cons, but in the end they protect the employee.
02-09-2017
Lisa OBrink []
CON
This overhaul is just plain wrong. How dare you try to screw over the citizens of Iowa. What we have in place already protects both sides of the table. You are just asking for a strike and not get reelected.
02-09-2017
Lauren Hughes [University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics]
CON
I am writing as a psychiatric inpatient nurse at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Cinics. I am also the daughter of an elementary school teacher who teaches in Iowa. HSB 84 is an attack on the backbone of this state. Teachers, nurses, law enforcement workers, and other public works employees serve this state in essential capacities. I do not think anyone could argue that there are more important priorities in this state than the health, safety, and education of its citizens. The Iowa I grew up in cared about people; the state I currently live in is not recognizable to me. I grew up in a state in which it was expected that you look out for your neighbor; this legislation feels like the antithesis of those values. I know that Republicans see this bill as a way to break up unions in the state while "saving money". I argue, do not teachers, nurses, and public safety workers who function at their highest capacity via adequate health insurance and wages save our state money in the educated workforce they produce each year, the safety they keep in our streets each day, and the lives they improve and save 24 hours a day? Beyond this, dollars are not what I was taught to worship as a child, it was the quality of human life.Finally, as a psychiatric nurse in this state who has already seen the poorly functioning mental health system gutted in recent years, I see first hand how nurses are expected to care for sicker patients who have longer stays. Our safety is put at risk regularly. In the past week I have been kicked, spit on, slapped in the face, and knocked down. I also "serve in harms way" and even though I am a democratic voter, I expect my collective bargaining rights to be upheld for the difficult, often thankless, and continually unrecognized job nurses do day in and day out in the state. My work is not always valued, but I still see my patients' lives as valuable, students' education as paramount, and the safety of my fellow citizens as a human right. It disappoints me that those who are only interested in the bottom line and corporate interests are so far removed from the daily experience of Iowans that they cannot continue to uphold collective bargaining rights for those who serve the citizens of our state.
02-09-2017
Joseph Breshears []
CON
The questions I would like to ask at this hearing is: What has become of the proposed plan by Gov. Branstad to implement a health insurance plan for state worker that is similar to IPERS? What does the legislature plan to do to provide health insurance for state workers in the place of a contract negotiated by collective bargaining?
02-09-2017
Karin Ford []
CON
The legislative body has limited the definition of public safety. The definition in code has many employees not considered in the carve out. And many public entities work daily for public safety which have been left out.
02-09-2017
Angela Clark [Educator]
CON
My name is Angela Clark and I am an educator from the Linn Mar Community School District. I strongly oppose the collective bargaining bill that is being fast tracked through the legislature. The actions being presented would have dire and damaging consequences for thousands of dedicated public workers in our great state. Please do the right thing and listen to your constituents concerns. These bills should not be hastily rushed through the system when they have such enormous ramifications and repercussions to people's lives and lifelong professions.
02-09-2017
Teresa Williamson []
CON
My name is Teresa Williamson and I am a teacher at EldoraNew Providence Elementary School. I have worked in the field of education for the past 14 years. I am opposed to the collective bargaining bill because the bill completely removes the voice of an educator. Both my husband and I are educators and we are dedicated to the field. However, without a voice, it does not allow us to discuss any sort of decisions impacting educators and students. We teach in a rural area, which is a difficult area to recruit and retain quality educators. We have three children in the public school system and we want the best educators for our children. We, as educators, have been stripped of control and local school boards are not able to discuss most topics with those in the classroom. Our local school board members have children and grandchildren in the district; there are also retired teachers on the school board. Many of these members enjoy and look forward to discussing topics within the classroom. We do not want to lose these opportunities, or our voice.Please consider the future of education, both for educators, as well as our students. The future is up to us. Please think about the impact of this bill. Thank you.
02-09-2017
Stacey Origer [Manson Northwest Webster Educational Association]
CON
My name is Stacey Origer and I am a teacher from Manson Northwest Webster and I am opposed to the collective bargaining bill because: 1) The bill completely removes educator voices the ones closest to the classroom from the decisions being made. Negotiations are not just about wages, they are about decisions made that affect our students. This bill eliminates any discussion about those decisions.2) Where are the cost saving measures in the bill and where does this give more local control to our communities? Educators and other employees have been stripped of control and local school boards are not allowed to discuss most topics with those in the classroom.3) This bill will cause a ripple effect hitting our rural communities hardest. How will we attract and retain the best and brightest in our profession with no voice in their profession and no incentives to move to harder to fill areas?Please Vote NO and help our children and our educators. We need to work together to make this a great educational state.
02-09-2017
Anonymous [ICCSD]
CON
I oppose any action that does not support public service workers... specifically HSB 84, 291 and SF 213.
02-09-2017
Eric Larson [Taxpayer. Public servant.]
CON
If granted permission, I appreciate the opportunity to speak, but more importantly I appreciate the opportunity to listen and to be listened to.
02-09-2017
Christopher Parrish [Science Teacher]
CON
To whom it may concern:Having taught for 29 years in both small and large schools this bill will destroy education as we know it in Iowa. The people that I feel for are the young teachers including my daughter who has only taught for one year. It has been her dream since 7th grade. My wife is also a been a teacher for 31 years. With some of the changes any of us could be fired without cause. It is not right that someone can be fired for no reason and that is one of the things this bill does. This is about the students of Iowa and our future.It will put teacher against teacher and district against district to compete for money. Look what has happened in Wisconsin. PLEASE THINK about the STUDENTS before you vote."The bills completely remove educator voices the ones closest to the classroom from the decisions being made. Negotiations are not just about wages, they are about decisions made that affect our students. Why would you eliminate any discussion about those decisions?""Where are the cost saving measures in the bill and where does this give more local control to our communities? Educators and other employees have been stripped of control and local school boards are not allowed to discuss most topics with those in the classroom." "This bill will cause a ripple effect hitting our rural communities hardest. How will we attract and retain the best and brightest in our profession with no voice in their profession and no incentives to move to harder to fill areas?"
02-09-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I oppose the collective bargaining bill. This bill strips away rights from nearly all public employees. If this bill is good enough for teachers, nurses, and city clerks, why is this not good enough for police officers and firemen? Although teachers may not want to put our lives on the line, after events such as Sandy Hook, you cannot say that teachers are unwilling to put their lives on the line for their students. This bill is disrespectful to every public employee in the state of Iowa. Please oppose this bill.Thank you,Tracy Weber
02-09-2017
Brett Cloyd [Mr.]
CON
Dear State Legislators Please do not proceed with this legislation. I am particularly concerned over the impact on our public school systems. I believe this will present a very negative impact to our kids, teachers, and communities. It will cost our taxpayers even more time and money to deal with the consequences. Katy Swalwell, Ph.D. Iowa State University School of Education has presented very persuasive evidence that this type of move has been very detrimental in Wisconsin and would create serious problems in Iowa. If you are unfamiliar with her work, please seek her out and invite her to speak.Sincerely,Brett Cloyd
02-09-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I strongly oppose HSB84, which will do irreparable harm to Iowa's communities and economy. Collective bargaining under Chapter 20 has been essential to the strength of Iowa's public schools and strong public schools are essential to our communities and the state's economy. Giving teachers and school administrators a substantive voice in determining their working conditions is key in making teachers feel valued and making them proud to work here. The current reforms to Chapter 20 would essentially eliminate that voice. We will see an acceleration of the brain drain that is already hurting Iowa students, families, and communities.I am an educator, so I know most directly how gutting Chapter 20 would also gut our schools. But it is not hard to imagine that the proposed changes would have a similar impact in other critical areas of public service, from firefighters and police to nurses. Chapter 20 has worked well. We have good working conditions for public servants, who have bargained in good faith and worked with their negotiation partners to reach fair contracts. We DO NOT have overpaid public employees. Iowa teacher pay is right in the middle of the packwe are 25th in the nation for average teacher pay and only 39th in the country for new teachers. And we DO NOT have a problem getting rid of bad teachers. Teachers who don't do their jobs can be fired for cause. What would happen under the proposed changes is that teachers could be fired for being more experienced and thus more expensive to employ.But there are other considerations that legislators concerned about the state budget should care about too. Good schools make for strong property values. When schools are weakened, property values drop. That hurts taxpayers and it hurts Iowa and Iowa communities. The security offered by real collective bargaining gives workers the confidence to buy homes, cars, or restaurant dinners. This helps the Iowa economy. Henry Ford knew that workers making a good, middleclass wage were also consumers for his cars. The same applies to teachers, firefighters, and police officers. Please reject the changes to Chapter 20 that are proposed in HSB 84.
02-09-2017
Deborah Goodenbour [Waterloo Education Association]
CON
Aside from the fact that this bill shows deep disrespect for the hard work done by teachers and other public workers, the bill completely removes educator voices from the decisions being made and we are the ones in the classroom! Negotiations are not just about wages, they are about shared twoway conversations and about decisions made that affect our students. Why would you eliminate any discussion about those decisions?Another question: Where are the costsaving measures in the bill, and how does this bill give more local control to our communities? Educators and other employees would be stripped of control and local school boards would not be allowed to discuss most topics with those in the classroom. We teachers are a noble and hardworking group of people who deserve respect. Respect is given when we are afforded a voice in helping our students achieve through the Iowa Core Curriculum.
02-09-2017
Pam Kremer [Citizen]
CON
I think this bill is not necessary and goes too far in the direction of putting Iowa labor at risk to business practices that were not good for individuals and Iowa families. Collective bargaining by public unions is important to checks and balance the potential for misuse of workers and likely will exploit workers if allowed to pass and be implemented. Do not allow this bill to be approved.
02-09-2017
Jaime Kroeger [Davenport CSD]
CON
Stripping collective rights like this is the first step in forcing thousands of hardworking Iowans and their families to leave and not look back. This is a huge detriment to our educational system that many of us used to pride ourselves on. The students of Iowa deserve much more than this, and public servants do too. No one goes into public service to be rich; in lieu of that "wealth" that is so richly illperceived, it is only fair that these deserving individuals be allowed to keep the few benefits they have currently. By stripping these rights you strip away anything of value left for those folks, and their families, Iowans, will suffer. I'll gladly support this measure only when members of the Iowa government are fully stripped of their benefits that I am also paying for. If it's good for the goose, it's good for the gander.
02-09-2017
Julie Simanski [DMACC]
CON
I would happily speak against this bill. I don't believe this is motivated by anything other than a vendetta against Educators and Branstad's need to settle a score.
02-09-2017
James De Vos [ISEA]
CON
I am an educator who makes a modest living devoting my life to helping kids. Please stop this collective bargaining bill that targets the very people attempting to keep Iowa among the best states in the U.S. If you attack teachers, what do you think will happen to the future education in our state? Have you really thought this through?
02-09-2017
Jean Schnellbacher [West Burlington High School]
CON
In 26 years of teaching, I have had a desk thrown at me; I have been hit, kicked, threatened and thrown up on. I have been called a "Bitch" many times and much much worse. Yet I have never felt as devalued as I have been by HSB 84. This bill is not about saving money, it is about war against the middle class. There are many aspects of the bill that are punitive, but perhaps what bothers me most is the words "Just Cause" that have been taken out of the language for termination. Who takes away "Just cause"? What could possibly be wrong in keeping those words in. Unless the legislators are for termination by "Unjust cause". In and of itself the words "just cause" promote fairness. That is all we are asking for. Please vote no to preserve our rights to be treated fairly, to be treated "just".
02-09-2017
Gerald Ross []
CON
Chapter 20 is not perfect. There are parts of Chapter 20 that could be tweaked to make it a better overall process. But to throw all the students, teachers, coaches, fire fighters, police men and women, and city, county and state workers out with the bath water is a poor decision. Let's sit down and fix the process, not dismantle it in a manner where few Iowans really have the time to get to know what is in HSB84 and SF213 and decide what parts are good for Iowa and what parts are bad for Iowa. A bill that is so important to so many Iowans needs more than a week and 1 day of discussion before a vote to pass it.
02-09-2017
Anonymous [NA]
CON
I am a concerned educator. For years, Iowa has been proud of its history in the education field, and this comes from having good teachers in the classroom. If you continue to attack the profession (with this bill and your sad amount of allowable growth) we will see a drain in quality educators in the classroom. Many teachers, including myself, have given up pay raises so we could have benefits such as health care. This is done through our unions in cooperation with our school administrators peacefully year after year.Yet, teachers continue to be seen as the "bad guys". To echo a fellow educator on this community post boars, Shame on you! Shame on you for lying to the public and telling them that this legislation is about tax reform when in fact it is really just about union busting. Shame on you! We, as Iowans are better than this. I love my profession, I do not want to have to leave my calling because I am underappreciated and struggle because my state representatives left me hanging. Thank you for your time.
02-09-2017
Gregory Hiemstra [Garner Hayfield Ventura Community Schools]
CON
Teacher in North Iowa, concerned the the bills completely remove educator voices the ones closest to the classroom from the decisions being made. Negotiations are not just about wages, they are about decisions made that affect our students. Why would you eliminate any discussion about those decisions?
02-09-2017
Mike [Iowa DOT]
PRO
Serving the state I grew up in has been an honor.I volunteer as a firefighter, First responder, coach,as well as other things . This is a slap in the face to a proud hard working Iowans who serve this state.
02-09-2017
Mrs. Lili Jensen [Iowa State Education Association]
CON
As an educator for 38 years who still serves in a small Iowa school district, I LOVE what I do. I love my students, my colleagues, my school district, and my community. To find my profession so unappreciated, so undervalued, and so denigrated that our state government feels the need to strip our rights to work together as a team with our local districts to make education and working conditions in our schools the best they can be for our students, teachers, and staff leaves me feeling totally abandoned. We have had the backs of our students, colleagues, school districts, and communities all these years. Who has our backs now in our time of need? The proposed collective bargaining law will make Iowa the last choice for the best educators and public workers and our position as a top state in education will plummet. Please stand with the workers who provide all the public services of our state and defeat this proposed legislation.
02-09-2017
Anonymous [Community Member]
CON
These bills are irresponsible and detrimental to our state. They are evidence of horrible abuse of power and a growing disconnect between elected officials and the people. I do not support these bills.
02-09-2017
Mark Blatz [Public Employee]
CON
I would like to have the opportunity to speak in support of Public Employees and ask the legislature maintain Iowa Chapter 20.Iowa Chapter 20 provide Public Employees opportunity to work within a fair and equal working environment. Many Public work in jobs which are complex and dangerous. Some have been assaulted and threatened, because of the very nature of their employment. Majority of the Public Employees well educated and have invested a great deal of time money for the careers they have chosen. Many Public Employees, hopes and desires are no different, than those of the private sector employees. They want to be treated fairly and equally. To have the opportunity provide for their families and love ones. They work hard to achieve these goals and deserve fair compensation for the many service they provide our communities.Our State and our communities should be grateful to have such a welltrained and educated work force, serving our communities.
02-10-2017
Logan Lafler [State training school]
CON
This is not OK and you all know it. I look forward to speaking at the public hearing.
02-10-2017
Troy [Markin]
CON
This bill will hurt Iowa workers and families. Where are the cost saving measures in this bill and where does this give more control to our local communities?
02-10-2017
Anonymous []
CON
This is not how we treat and respect those who mold the minds of young and old Iowans. A strong middle class workforce creates strong communities. Teachers are the backbone of communities, especially in rural areas. Keep the teacher force strong for the benefit of all. I'm very much opposed to HSB 84.
02-10-2017
Anonymous [Education]
CON
Please feel empowered to vote no!
02-10-2017
Nina Gill [None ]
CON
I've seen some letters to constituents about how great the bill will be. They don't think so!! Listen to the workers in your districts.
02-10-2017
Daniel Barr []
CON
I oppose this bill wholeheartedly. Quite simply because the firefighters, police and corrections officers that protect us deserve to ask for fair wages. Because the road workers who take care of our roads, because the teachers who teach and care for our kids all deserve the right to talk to their boss and ask for a decent living.
02-10-2017
Mark Brooks [Retired military]
CON
What the legislature is attempting to do to union and non union workers is despicable. I support all workers and their right to assemble to petition/bargain their employers for wages, benefits and a safe working environment. This piece of legislation begs one to consider just who you are representing in the legislature. It is evident that legislators who support this do not represent the constituents who sent them there.
02-10-2017
Anonymous [not on behalf of any organization ]
CON
If any of YOU would get up at 6 in the morning and deal with some of the issues we regularly do, I would really like to see this. This bill is an insult to what public employees do on a daily basis without complaint and often at low pay. Perhaps we should next pass bills on members of Congress and the Senate to lower their insurance packages, pay, job security, etc.?
02-10-2017
Kim Hynek [ ]
CON
At a time when our society needs, education, police and fire and the general sense to value service individuals, the legislature is trying to make those careers even less appealing. No one in a service area (police, fire, paramedic, sanitation, or education) has chosen that career because they feel like they are going to make a lot of money, gutting their bargaining rights and tenure protection is just another reason to venture to another career path. What will we do when these careers become so unappealing that we do not have high quality educators or interest in service positions?
02-10-2017
Kim Lehmkuhl []
CON
PLEASE do not take away our bargaining rights. If our district takes away our insurance or other benefits, I won't be able to afford to work there any more. I'm barely able to make ends meet as it is, and that's only because my insurance is provided for me. I'm ok with not making a lot of money because I love my job. But I will either have to find another job or go on government assistance, and neither of those are what I want. PLEASE do not do this! WE (public servants) are NOT the budgetary problem in this state! Why are WE the ones are constantly being threatened of our way of life?
02-10-2017
Rob Timmins []
CON
As a public educator, I strongly oppose HSB 84. It will be terribly detrimental to education in the state of Iowa.
02-10-2017
Taylor Williams []
CON
Workers should own the means of production. Barring that, they should at least be able to negotiate better working conditions. Please vote NO.
02-10-2017
Anonymous [individual]
CON
OPPOSED to this bill. It is a slap in the face of every public worker in Iowa. There is absolutely NO reason for this. NO budget cuts needed to be done. Corporate taxes could cover all of the budget cuts. This Congress is destroying our great state of Iowa. What are you leaving in the wake of your destruction? You are taking away jobs and benefits to hard working people. Shame on all of you!
02-10-2017
Martin [Retired]
CON
My history in Iowa. Why I moved
02-10-2017
Sara Vermazen [LOCAL 2989]
CON
We put our lives on the line everyday when we walk inside the walls of those prisons. The violent offenders that law enforcement deal with do not stop being violent offenders once they walk into prison. If you are all in agreement that our job is so nonlife threatening then please allow us to take your sons & daughters & wives to work with us in our uniforms for a few weeks to be treated the way we are treated everyday.would you be comfortable with that?
02-10-2017
Anonymous []
CON
This bill is not good for Iowa workers. I urge our representatives to listen to their constituents and vote it down.
02-10-2017
Jill Goldesberry []
CON
The provision about deductions for dues from paychecks has nothing to do with saving the state any money. It is about busting the union, and that part of the bill should be stricken.
02-10-2017
Todd Eaves [AFSCME Dept Of Corrections]
CON
Chapter 20 has worked for Iowans for 4 decades.This is nothing but an attack on Iowans and an agenda by a Governor who is leaving and wants one last slap in the face for Public Employees.We will vote again!!
02-10-2017
Mary Thatp [Citizen ]
PRO
This is wrong for all of us. Those impacted by gutting Chapter 20 are the people who teach our children, fight for safe families, protect us from criminals, plow roads, pick up garbage and save lives as nurses. When a flood threatened Cedar Rapids workers from the city worked round the clock with citizens to save us from more devastation. Splitting off Fire and Police is a classic divide and weaken tactic. Unions give private sector employees many safeguards such as paid leave, safe working conditions and fair labor practices. The Republicans behind this want to destroy the middle class and we must all work together to defeat them.
02-10-2017
Lori Riley []
CON
I have read many of the supporting comments. Most directed at employee performance. My question is how is eliminating health insurance benefits, overtime, working conditions, and items of this nature from the bargaining unit have any bearing or are in any way reflective of performance evaluations or dismissals? If a public entity wants for terminate ones employment it only takes a paper trail with sustainable complaints. This is out and out union busting. No one in our state will benefit from this. This will lead to more poverty and a higher need for social services, neither are profitable for state government. The system is not broken and does not require reform. All you will accomplish is good employees, educators, will leave public service in our state and systems will suffer. What is the rate of turnover now? Turnover is horribly expensive and unproductive. Are our roads not taken care of? Are our students not taught? Are the jails not safe and secure? Please don't try and profess that our state is broke. How much is in the rainy day fund? How much do you need? There are other areas that NEED reform that would save government spending, such as the food stamp program abuses. Why not focus on truly broken programs not ones that are functioning as they should.This is wrong on so many levels. To sum things up I don't remember people living in company houses, thanks to the unions. I don't want my grandson living in Iowa in a company house. Please consider the repercussions this will have on our state and economy and vote NO.
02-10-2017
Anonymous [[UNI Secretary]]
CON
Please vote no on HSB 84. This bill will affect ALL public employees not just teachers and professors but also secretaries, custodians, etc. I am a Registered Republican and see both pros/cons of Labor Unions. We have had a seat at the table for years and have worked together to provide for citizens of the State of Iowa. This bill will effectively tell ALL public employees that 'you don't matter, only money matters'.
02-10-2017
Jen Provorse []
CON
Please consider raising the standards of other Iowa workers instead of lowering the standards of those who work hard to provide for their families and the families of others. These public workers deserve respect and adequate compensation and rights for the work they do everyday. To deny them that is appalling!. If there issues with Chapter 20, we should debate the those issues, not delete the entire chapter for the benefit of out of state politicians and lobbyists.
02-10-2017
Thomas Carsner []
CON
Collective bargaining has worked well for 40+ years. Allowing bargaining only over wages and allowing a Governor veto is the functional equivalent of not having collective bargaining. The State will be in court over this. Do you want to return to the days when teachers and firefighters and community college employees went on strike to receive fair compensation? That is what will result if this bill passes.
02-10-2017
Tyler Winter [Waterloo Schools]
CON
My name is Tyler Winter and I am an educator from Waterloo, IA. I am opposed to the collective bargaining bill for the following reasons:1. The bill completely removes educator voices the ones closest to the classroom from the decisions being made. Negotiations are not just about wages, they are about decisions made that affect our students. This bill eliminates any discussion about those decisions. By not allowing those on the front line to have a voice in decision making I worry decisions made could negatively impact the students we serve. 2. I question, where are the costsaving measures in the bill and where does this give more local control to our communities? Educators and other employees have been stripped of control and local school boards are not allowed to discuss most topics with those in the classroom. Yet again the ones on the front lines 3. This bill will cause a ripple effect hitting our rural communities hardest. How will we attract and retain the best and brightest in our profession with no voice in their profession and no incentives to move to harder to fill areas? Although the approval of this reform will affect myself and my family personally, I'm more concerned about how it will affect the students I serve every day. I teach students who come from diverse backgrounds, some of which live in poverty. How will these students be affected if their educators do not remain in their jobs because of how this reform will affect them. I urge you to vote no for anything that will further hinder the educational progress that we are trying to make in Iowa. Please vote no to HSB 84 and SF 213. Sincerely, Tyler WinterSchool Counselor Waterloo Community School District
02-10-2017
Anonymous []
CON
please support the rights, living wage and benefits of state employees such as teachers, corrections officers, police officers, firefighters and others! the impact on Iowa's economy, including small businesses and individual households, would be intense if health insurance and other benefits were to be eliminated for state employees.in addition, state employees receive benefits are an important way that iowa recruits excellent teachers, police officers, firefighters and others to iowa or retains talented and excellent civil servants born in the state. if we do not remain competitive, our education and safety will fail. please sustain a vital, viable market for skilled state employees! we ALL deserve safe and strong communities and a strong economy!!! And thank you so much for the time it takes to listen to your constitutents' opinions and concerns
02-10-2017
Holly Herbert [N/A]
CON
Both my stepfather and the mother of my autistic nephew are state employees and union members. Today the Republicans plan to gut their benefits and ability to bargain. My stepfather has worked for Iowa State for 33 years, and soon his seniority will mean nothing. They are coming after the pension plan, as well.My nephew's mother is about to give birth to his little sister, and now she's not certain she'll be able to take time off to be with the baby and still have a job. There's also no guarantee that either of them will have a job, or that they will be able to afford their health insurance, as the current proposed legislation takes out the "just cause" clause regarding employee termination and the unions will no longer be able to negotiate for affordable insurance plans.This is personal. If this bill passes, it is quite possible that the consequences will be devestatin to those in my immediate family. I urge you to vote no on HSB 84.
02-10-2017
John Kenyon [Mr.]
CON
I urge you to reject HSB84. Among the many negative consequences of this bill is a serious blow to graduate work and research at our public universities. At the University of Iowa, for example, students in the Writers' Workshop, NonFiction Writing Program and others also teach, and the ability of these programs to offer competitive packages to these students will be compromised. Some current students, if they lose funding or healthcare, might leave. There is tremendous value to our state in having these programs remain the best of the best, and so for this and many reasons, I urge legislators to oppose this bill.
02-10-2017
Marilyn Abbott [Treynor Community Schools]
CON
By taking away our voice and place at the bargaining table, you will be completely demoralizing so many who want to be a part of building something great rather than just another cog in a wheel. It is the utter lack of respect and appreciation for what we do that is so hard to take. Appreciated people will always to more than is asked of them.
02-10-2017
Bob Brown [Citizen/Tax payer]
CON
I oppose HSB 84 and ask Legislators to vote no.This is wrong and will not result in improved public services.
02-10-2017
Anonymous [University of Iowa]
CON
this significantly impacts colleagues, friends and me in a negative way. I do not think it is a good solution and I do not think a majority of constituents (who are supposed to be represented) support it.
02-10-2017
Anonymous []
CON
This bill will lower the education standards in Iowa. It will put public safety at risk for our communities. Chapter 20 has worked well for over 40 years! Please vote No!
02-10-2017
Nikki Eaves [Iowa State Penitentiary]
CON
Neither bill is good for State of Iowa employees or THE STATE OF IOWA!!! Both should be voted down!!!Strong unions build strong a strong middle class. A strong middle class builds strong communities. This legislation doesn't do anything to build the middle class. This legislation doesn't do anything to build Iowa communities. Those of us in corrections put our lives' on the line everyday we walk in the door, allow us to keep the protection that we deserve.
02-10-2017
Anonymous [University of Iowa]
CON
I am a graduate student who has the same teaching load as a tenuretrack faculty member (I design and am sole instructor for 3 courses per year), and yet I am paid 20% of what a tenuretrack faculty member is paid. Graduate students are cheap labor for universities; we are a vulnerable working population. If we are denied bargaining rights, we are at risk of losing our health insurance. PhD students, many of whom have families, are in school for 6 + years and are not allowed to hold a second job while funded by the university. Losing our benefits would mean forfeiting our degrees. The University of Iowa, which already has difficulty recruiting graduate students in many departments, would undoubtedly lose its status as a "midwest Ivy" and a quality R1 institution. Graduate students deserve to have bargaining rights over our health care and benefits.
02-10-2017
Richie Eaves [Iowa State Penitentiary]
CON
Those of us in corrections put our lives' on the line everyday we walk in the door, allow us to keep the protection that we deserve. Strong unions build strong a strong middle class. A strong middle class builds strong communities. This legislation doesn't do anything to build the middle class. This legislation doesn't do anything to build Iowa communities. Neither bill is good for State of Iowa employees or THE STATE OF IOWA!!! Both should be voted down!!!
02-10-2017
Cynthia Phillips [Iowa State Pen.]
CON
I do not feel this will help our community.
02-10-2017
Dr. James Dostal [Citizen]
CON
Interesting that under state law all laws passed by the General Assembly go into effect on July 1 of that year unless otherwise stated in the legislation. It does not happen often in the state of Iowa. The larger question is why would the General Assembly be in such a rush to pass this bill and put into it a special clause that enacts this bill upon the governor's signature on the bill?More thoughtprovoking is would all the proponents of these new proposals focused on Chapter 20 be willing to work under the new rules or really no rules in employeeemployer relationships?If one focuses on presenting the economic argument that this change in Chapter 20 is good for the state and taxpayers are we not being shortsighted in seeing that if these same public employees make less money will these same people not purchase as much (lower sales tax revenue). Additionally these same public employees will not earn as much that directly equates to lower income tax revenue. The budget of the state of Iowa will be negatively impacted directly due to this myopic view point of short term gains through the power position of the GOP in the General Assembly as well as the Governor's office.
02-10-2017
Frank S Waite [Teamsters Local 90]
CON
My fellow Americans ; Republicans, Democrats, Independents and the Undecided. There was a time in our history when saying the words I just spoke, would have been a certain death sentence for the American worker if they attempted to organize and speak to their Fellow Workers. President Trump understands the dynamic of bad trade deals, and has signed Executive Orders to help the country be on a level field with our trade partners. President Abraham Lincoln , a great Republican, also had the wisdom to understand the dynamics of Labor. In his words, A man that says he loves America, yet is against Labor is a liar........in other words, an injury to one is an injury to ALL..............
02-10-2017
Lora Burk [DOC, AFSCME Local 2989]
CON
I am strongly against HSB 84 and SF 213. I believe the citizens of Iowa (and that does include teachers, probation/parole officers, correctional officers, nurses, transportation workers, sanitation workers, and all union members)are under attack. As a registered republican, I am horrified by the party trying to destroy collective bargaining. Additionally, I have heard all lawmakers speak in support of veterans and veterans rights. Please keep in mind that most of our veterans are now in the private workforce; that's right, they are teachers, correctional officers, skilled laborers, fire fighters, police officers and UNION MEMBERS.
02-10-2017
Barbie Burnett [Newton Community Education Association]
CON
Please support Iowa educators and other public workers and vote no on HSB 84 and SF 213.
02-10-2017
Rick Scott [Amalgamated Transit Union]
CON
I am against any changes to Chapter 20.
02-10-2017
Michelle Schultz [NA]
CON
I am against HF 291. Collective bargaining benefits workers, their families, and their communities. I'm a strong supporter and believer in the power of unions and collective bargaining to ensure that workers are treated fairly and compensated fairly by employers. By pushing this bill through you are tipping the scales in favor of business/profit over people.
02-10-2017
Anonymous [Retired ]
PRO
I support HF291. Public employees receive much better pay than the private sector. This is a burden on taxpayers, who foot the bill.
02-10-2017
David Germann []
CON
This will not help the citizens of the state of Iowa.
02-10-2017
Chris Schwartz [Black Hawk County Supervisor]
CON
As a county supervisor for one of Iowas largest county I am very concerned of the negative impact this could have on our county, its employees, and the financial risk to our tax payers. Right now we have a healthy relationship with our a bargaining units to cover over 500 employees. This allows us to recruit and retain high quality staff, and greatly reduces the liability risk to our county for potential work place inequities. These are protections we do not have with our non bargaining unit employees, and do not have an adequate means by which to prevent potential lawsuits for gender, and age pay inequities for our non bargaining units. Without the unions we would be opening up this risk to all 700 plus county employees.
02-10-2017
Anonymous [U of Iowa]
CON
The bill takes away workers' rights and will make it impossible for university graduate student/teaching assistants to make a living wage and to obtain medical care for themselves and their families.
02-10-2017
Anonymous [University of Iowa]
CON
I am a graduate student and teaching assistant at the University of Iowa and, with my colleagues and fellow graduate students, am a vital part of the workforce at this public education institution. We are already a vulnerable working population providing cheap labor for the university. If this bill is passed and we are denied bargaining rights, we are at risk of losing our health insurance. Loss of health insurance means that many of us will be in untenable positions and will have to abandon our degrees and the years of hard work and sacrifice made to get here. Graduate students deserve to have bargaining rights over our health care and benefits! Please do not take this right away!
02-10-2017
Matt McBride [University of Iowa]
CON
Though I teach at the college level, I can say there is a direct and empirically provable connection between the strength of a state's teacher's unions and the K12 achievement levels in that state. Please, look this up.
02-10-2017
Anonymous []
CON
Vote no for this! I think the people have spoken and are totally against this. We are the ones who put you there to be our voice. Now start listening to the people not personal beliefs. Many lives will be wrecked if this goes through.
02-10-2017
Amanda Athy []
CON
I would like to tell you the story of how public sector unions have benefitted my family. In February of 2010, my 6yearold son suffered a nearfatal brain aneurysm. When I called 911, the dispatcher calmly kept sent police, paramedics, and ambulance to our house and kept us on the phone until they arrived. The paramedics carried my son to the ambulance to save precious time getting my son to the hospital. My husband, a nurse, rode in the ambulance while I stayed behind waiting for my ride to the hospital and someone to watch our other children. A paramedic calmly suggested things to take with me to the hospital as I was clearly in shock. When I arrived at the University of Iowa Hospital, a social worker met me and took me to my son and husband. she stayed with us and helped us call family members and made sure we were comfortable while we waited during my son's surgery. All of my son's caretakers were public sector employees. They went above and beyond. One of the paramedics came on his personal time to see how my son was doing. After his release from a transitional care facility, it was the teachers' turn. We were told our son probably would not be able to understand language. With a tremendous amount of work by my son's teachers and staff, he reads, writes, and creates. His teachers have only seen his potential, not his limits.Because of his brain injury, our son is on the Medicaid Brain Injury Waiver. His social worker has provided much guidance in services that would benefit our son and she has been a tireless advocate for him. We are one family and this is just one instance of how these professionals have gone above and beyond to help us. The very LEAST the state could do would be to allow them to collectively bargain to be treated fairly, in safe working conditions, at safe staffing levels, and manageable caseloads. I want to be able to continue to live in a state where we value and respect the people that do these jobs.
02-10-2017
Matt Sewing [Glenwood Police Department ]
CON
This is absurd! Public sector employees are the only ones who fund their own salary and benefits. They aren't eligible for bonuses or raises based on the quality of their product, service, or increased revenue. No conservative thinks working in the public sector should make you rich but collective bargaining is one of the only equalizers to draw quality workers from the private sector. It's simply ignorant! Collective bargaining is a check and balance system to retain quality employees and an incentive to get new quality employees. To do aeay with it is basically saying Iowa only wants private sector rejects who are desperate for a job... And then not retain them once they get training and experience. Your vote will not soon be forgot or forgiven at election time by Iowa's traditionally conservative police and fire employees!
02-10-2017
Anonymous [Citizen of Iowa]
CON
Given the recent developments in the state legislature I felt compelled to contact you about my extreme opposition to the proposed bill regarding public unions. It would appear that the people backing this bill (the Governor and the GOP delegation) are once again using the public employees as a scapegoat. This bill appears to have the goal of taking away the rights of the public worker so the state has more flexibility to take money away from them in the future. Given that the Republican party is backing this, I find that unbelievably hypocritical. Isn't the Republican party the party that thumps it's chest over giving liberties to people, protecting people's rights, and the government having less power? The Governor has stated that public sector workers have "no skin in the game" when it comes to health insurance. First, this is not accurate. His suggestion is that the state is paying for free health care for public employees, while that isn't exactly true. Keep in mind, the state is offering a compensation package to it's employees. This includes base salary, insurance plans, etc. If insurance wasn't included as part of that, the base salary would be higher. It's simply a matter of who writes the check for insurance. The Governor has implied that public sector workers are getting "too good" of coverage at taxpayer expense. His solution is to attack the state workers, rather than legislate to reign in the skyrocketing insurance costs. I have a really hard time supporting that when insurance executives earn millions of dollars in bonuses every year and then raise costs on policies on the customers. The Governor has a long standing track record of these actions. Blaming state workers, cutting benefits, and and using those revenues to fulfill promises to his big money campaign backers. It appears the Governor is okay with allowing the rich to get richer, but he is not okay with the middle class remaining in the middle class.I implore you to please look beyond party line politics and recognize the dangers this bill creates for the state of Iowa. Public unions have not hurt the state. They have simply made it difficult for the Governor to push the state employee around as much as he'd like, and by eliminating their abilities it gives him power to do just that. Please represent the interest of the people of your district, and not party line politics and reject this bill.
02-10-2017
Jacob Bohnenkamp [IOWA Department of Corrections]
CON
How can anyone support this? How can you say Park Rangers "lay their life on the line every day" but leave out correctional officers? Come spend 40+ hours a week, completely isolated, 1 officer with 56 murderers, gang members, and rapists surrounding you. Count up how many staff assaults we have had in the last 12 months and compare it to the Park Rangers.... Then go tell the correctional officers in Delaware that they don't lay their lives on the line..... You should be ashamed if you support this bill, and if you vote in favor of it, that will be remembered in the next election. This whole party politics crap is ruining our country. Vote NO!
02-10-2017
T. Jill Cecil []
CON
I stand opposed to the current Chapter 20 legislation which takes away public employee's rights and benefits. I do not believe dedicated and hardworking ducators and other public employees should be demeaned and disrespected in the way this legislation does.Most of these people have specific certification and skills if competent people leave. This legislation will drive down wages, rights and benefits for all Iowa workers and will affect Iowa's tax base and economy. Most importantly, it will not improve the performance od any public employee. Demoralized and dissrespected employees who also struggle with increased financial burdens are NOT better employees.In addition, I am greatly concerned about the interference of outside groups on this legislation who, it seems, have a specific and clearly self servinf agenda. THE INTERFERENCE OF THES OUTOF STATE GROUPS IS NOT LOCAL CONTROL. IT IS JUST THE OPPOSITE. Please oppose and vote no on this Chapter 20 legislation.
02-10-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I urge you to vote NO on Chapter 20 changes. As the Iowa Policy Project has said (link), these changes to 119,000 working Iowans lives would:Cost the taxpayers substantial amounts of moneyCreate more red tape in governmentDecrease accountabilityLower Iowans wagesAccelerate brain drainIncrease income inequalityDisproportionately hurt rural areas of IowaWiden the gender pay gapCause staff shortages in education and in health careAs the Labor Center has noted (link), the current bargaining law, Chapter 20, was a carefullycrafted compromise based on input from labor, legislators, and the public that has worked well for over 40 years. The current bill was designed behind closed doors without public input or discussion. There is no reason to rush through drastic changes to the law that would hurt Iowans.
02-10-2017
Anonymous [Iowa Citizen]
CON
This bill hurts our state in multiple ways. 1) It financially hurts our working class and their families.2) It makes it difficult to recruit highly qualified educators to the stateespecially in fields of high need like STEM, and encourages brain drain where young educators will take jobs in states that treat them well instead of in Iowa. 3) It will trickle down and affect the morale and productivity of current public employees, and impact the efficacy of the protective services and education they provide. 4) It encourages waste via turnover. We will train our young adults to be prepared for these positions, but then they will not stay for long periods of time due to overwork and negative work environments where their fiscal, health insurance, and retirement needs are not met.
02-10-2017
Mary Tharp [Citizen]
CON
My earlier post is incorrectly labeled. I oppose gutting Chapter 20 as my narrative explains.
02-10-2017
Brenda Farr [DOC AFSCME 2989]
CON
I am absolutely against taking our collective bargaining away.
02-10-2017
Kara Franke [Keystone AEA]
CON
I don't see any benefit to cutting Chapter 20. There is no cost savings and it only limits the conversation between teachers/school employees and their admin.
02-10-2017
Traci Maxted []
CON
If you truly want to make this about local options, it must be necessary to allow benefits, insurance and seniority issues to be discussed should both parties want this. To disallow these options makes no sense in that context. Further if you wish to encourage and maintain the teachers, police officers, firefighters, road workers and other necessary taxpaying members of our society, it is entirely unreasonable to allow dismissal without cause. Cause for dismissal can and should be a part of any contract.
02-10-2017
April Edwards [Maquoketa High School]
CON
This is detrimental to every public worker. We will end up like Wisconsin. You will have quality workers quitting their jobs and moving to other states. This will destroy the economy. There is absolutely no reason to attempt to "fix" something when it isn't broke. This bill will destroy the economy in this state. It will destroy education. It will destroy the safety of those living in the state. We are all guaranteed freedom of speech. This bill is taking that away.
02-10-2017
John Brostad []
CON
Public employees deserve better. Illegal for a superintendent to talk to staff about insurance? Really? In our district we have 100+ instructional assistants who make around 10K per year and only work there because they get their insurance paid. This bill is blatant bullying and will eventually lead to lower quality employees in all areas. It is no wonder you are running it through at lightning speed; you are fixing something that is working and needs no fixing. Collective bargaining works. I was around before bargaining and now afterwards. It has worked well for both sides. If you do not think so, ask the superintendents and employees. You won't ask because the decision to gut chapter 20 was made months ago. You are balancing the books on the backs of public employees. You gave foreign company Orascom 110 million and they immediately polluted the Mississippi River. Then you needed 110 million to balance the books so you cut education, public services, the judicial system, public safety, etc. You say you want to save the taxpayer money but all you really do is spend it on corporate welfare. You are out to destroy the unions and since you have the power to do so, no amount of reason will matter. All I heard before the last election was how all Republicans supported education. What a joke! This forum is just a formality as you will do whatever Governor Branstad and the Koch Brothers want.
02-10-2017
Anonymous [teacher]
CON
Please do what is best for children, education and your voters and vote against these bills.
02-10-2017
Anonymous [Public Teacher]
CON
I strongly urge you to oppose this bill as it will cause many quality educators in Iowa to leave education jobs and be a detriment to student learning.
02-10-2017
Virginia Smith [DMPS - teacher/intervention]
CON
From what I am reading and listening to on the news and by what the lawmakers are saying, I feel that the teachers in this community and all over are not thought of very highly. I don't understand this. We acquire education above just a teaching degree to make sure we are qualified to serve the needs of all students. Since I started teaching in 2004, first in the classroom and then transitioning to interventionist in 2015, I have seen the workload and expectations increase with very little increase in compensation. We are here before our contract time, late after school (sometimes till 7 or later), come in on the weekends, work through the summer with PD's and preparing for the new year without anyone in government saying wow, they are really doing everything they can for our children. It feels like we are being slapped in the face, kicked in the gut, and joked about. We are with your children for most of the year more than you are with your children. We build relationships with them, care about them, worry about them, and are always thinking about them even after they leave our classrooms. Yet, with all that you want to take from us instead of building us up, you have made us feel that we don't matter nor does what we do matter. We are in charge of teaching the people who will be charge of our tomorrows. What are you teaching them by doing this to us now?!
02-10-2017
Julie Alden [Allamakee Community Schools]
CON
I oppose the antiworker bills, SF 213 and HF 291. I would encourage you to support Iowa works by not undermining their rights and voting no on these bills.
02-10-2017
Jill Abruzzio [Coralville Central]
CON
Public employees above all else need to be treated with certain protections for their quality of life because of the fragile nature of what they do and how they work with the everyday public. To depreciate the ability of these workers to have agency in their work is to remove the quality of the service. Public services are what this country was built on and that quality cannot be replaced. We will not be pushed down, removed from power, and have our wages stagnated in the name of lining the pockets of the economic titans of this country. I will not stand for the United States turning from the emblem of freedom for all into a war mongering colonist enslaving its people for oil and the 1%. I am a public employee because I truly care about the well being of this country and the people in it, and it has become apparent that the country does not care about us, me, at all. How can you remove the basic rights of those who have made you. Turning your back on us turns your back on the actual American people, the people who support this country the most, on which it is founded. It behooves any legislator to look back on the education they had received, and to acknowledge that they would SIMPLY NOT EXIST were it not for the collective bargaining processes of public employees. In a state like Iowa where it is the greatest envy to work, especially where our test scores strive, you can see a visible correlation between collective bargaining efforts among employees with positive outcomes. It is unbelievable that this cannot be seen and understood as a determinant in why Iowa has excelled to this point.
02-10-2017
Anonymous []
CON
This bill will allow for a machiavellian style approach to education. School administrators will be given the power to terminate employees at will with no recourse. Due process is guaranteed by 14th Amendment. Power corrupts!
02-10-2017
Carla Behrend []
CON
You need to stand up for all your public servants by voting against HF291 and SF213. I taught for 40 years of my life. I did that because of my wanting to make a difference in the lives of students that have disabilities. Being part of ISEA for all those years was one of the reasons I gave my life to teaching. All public servants deserve your respect and you need to vote against these two bills!
02-10-2017
Kristine M Conlon []
CON
This is the kind of legislation that is destroying historically excellent education in states like Kansas and Wisconsin. Treating professionals with respect, giving them a place at the table, is what successful institutions do. Do not trash what has worked well for so long.
02-10-2017
Diane Pratt [Fort Dodge Community School District]
CON
Dissolving collective bargaining rights is only saving business owners' pocket book. Workers are taxpayers. Unionize workers do jobs that benefit all taxpayers whether teaching, nursing, welding, constructing buildings for communities, etc. With unions setting professional standards, our communities are ensured that highly qualified workers are responsible for these jobs. All taxpayers reap the benefits of skilled workers, so can contribute just a little to support the standard of living we all enjoy. (Unlike most nonunion, private employees who might interact with a certain segment of our community, but not all.)For a legislature who favors "local control" in so many areas, why are so many against locally decided minimum wages? The minimum wage is not a living wage and I cannot understand why senators and representatives want to keep our citizens impoverished!AS a right to work state, our workers have choices, one of those being whether to join a union or not. With dues come protections from poor legislative decisions such as the move to disallow direct payment of dues from one's paycheck. With all of the important and potentially lifethreatening issues that our legislature should be addressingthose that really impact all citizens (ie. the environment, mental health, insurance costs that contribute to high medical costs, etc.) it is pitiful that they are impassioned about picking the pockets of taxpayers and legislating their bedrooms.
02-10-2017
Stephen Hanisch [Kirkwood Community College]
CON
I've been a registered Republican since 1984 and the party is wrong on this issue! DO NOT REMOVE THE RIGHT TO COLLECTIVELY BARGAIN FOR ALL EMPLOYMENT BENEFITS, INCLUDING HEALTH AND WELFARE! A party line vote will destroy public trust of my fellow teachers and all others affected by this act.
02-10-2017
Janet Becker [Public school teacher]
CON
As an educator I have dedicated my life to helping others and fostering learning. With my degree I could have pursued a much higher paying career. Instead I along with many others have chosen a career in public service. It doesn't seem that we are valued or appreciated, especially when our lawmakers try to regulate what we can and cannot bargain with our employers. This makes me wonder why any parent would encourage their children to follow the path of a public service.
02-10-2017
Julie Burke [CBC]
CON
I am adamantly opposed to SF 213 and HF 291. I have been a hard working employee for over 18 years in Iowa. I came here because of the better health benefits. I cannot afford to pay for them out of pocket with two kids in college and a mortgage, etc. I have voted to forego raises in the past to avoid lay offs of employees. These bills make an employee fear for their livelihood! Please do not pass these!
02-10-2017
philip wicklund []
CON
This is a solution to a non existing problem. Negotiations have worked extremely well through all the years. It allows workers to have an equal footing in determining how they are treated in the work place. Public employees are disadvantaged in salaries and benefits compared to the private sector and thus need a strong voice and proper laws to insure they continue to give us their service. I strongly request that this bill be put in the appropriate place. The trash barrel.
02-10-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I am a third generation Republican, a longtime Republican central committee member and officer, and a 37 year teacher. Where does it say that Republicans are supposed to be against public education and law enforcement officers? Our ancestors came to America for opportunity, religious, economic, political and educational. Public education has played a major role in the success of this country! Now, public educators are losing the backing of their representatives at a time in education when students are more challenging and teachers are being asked to do more with less money. The candidates I voted for this year said nothing about taking away my rights! I am fearful for the future of public education in Iowa and for future teachers.
02-10-2017
Anonymous [AFSMCE]
CON
Please consider the safety of our community, including your own. I have had the opportunity to work in both the a prison and in community corrections and there is a real level of danger when working with these offenders. I have seen staff be assaulted, hurt and abused by some of the worst offenders in Iowa. So what our state is telling us is that we should not be compensated or protected when these things happen. Think of the scariest news headline about a crime in our state. Someone is providing that offender meals, medical care, treatment and services for when he is released to our community, every single day, don't they deserve to be paid and receive benefits for working with the most dangerous people in our state?
02-10-2017
Hollie Weber [Central Le CSD]
CON
The changes this bill will make will negatively impact working environment of public employees. Under the current system, both sidesemployees and managementare given the opportunity to work together to balance the needs of the organization and the employees. Taking away the rights of the workers to be represented in the negotiation of benefits will negatively impact the workplace environment and limit the ability to recruit and maintain the highest quality workers.
02-10-2017
Linda McCormick []
CON
I am an Indianola resident who is concerned by the collective bargaining bill Republicans are advancing in the state legislature. I am worried that many of the measures in the bill will be counterproductive. Richard Dufour, a thought leader in education whose work underpins the improvement plans of many Iowa schools, writes In Praise of American Educators: And How They Can Become Even Better about the union's role in school improvement. He notes "a study in the Harvard Educational Review reports that the presence of teacher unions has a significant and positive relationship with student performance on both the SAT and ACT exams." In addition, he reports, "an analysis of student performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress shows that only one nonunion state (Virginia, ranked at sixteenth) had an average score above the median...Conversely, nine of the ten states with the highest rankings were states with strong teacher unions." I'm disappointed that Republicans are advancing a bill that seems to be based more on ideology than on the evidence of what will help our schools improve. I urge you to avoid an overreach that I believe will negatively impact my honorable profession and the future of Iowa's children.
02-10-2017
Judy Hohl [private opinion of a teacher]
CON
This will harm so many things in the future: quality of teachers within districts, student test scores, education in general because some people will choose to leave it as a career, etc. It will cause a profession to fall below current standards. It will most likely impact the future of the profession and cause less people to enter education. I cannot believe Iowa legislatures are stooping this low; I thought more highly of them.
02-10-2017
Joy Drake [Teacher Chariton High School]
CON
As a public school teacher, collective bargaining is the only tool we have to safeguard our jobs. Unlike most professions, we teachers have to renew our contracts every year. Every year public schools have less and less money to spend, and they are looking for ways to cut more money from the budgets. Collective bargaining is the only thing that protects veteran teachers from loosing our jobs to lesser paid new teachers. For small public schools education is more about money than it is quality teachers. As teachers, we are continually forced to take more college classes to keep our teaching certifications (which we pay for out of our own salaries). The longer we teach the more college credits we receive. Without collective bargaining, more qualified teachers would loose their jobs to newer cheaper teachers.
02-10-2017
Valarie Berge [none]
CON
This bill will hit rural communities like mine the hardest. Our schools will not be able to attract and retain the best and brightest educators with no voice in their profession. There doesn't seem to be major issues with school districts and educators negotiating mutually agreed upon settlements, so why is this bill needed? This seems like an attack on Iowa's middle class employees whose jobs are to serve the public. Why?
02-10-2017
Erin Watts [Linn-Mar Education Association]
CON
HB 84 is bad for Iowa. This bill completely removes teachers' right to have a voice at the table, to advocate for our students' learning environment and our working environment. Teachers' unions are not the enemy. Chapter 20 was signed into law under a republican governor with bipartisan support to protect both sides from abuses from the other without having to sacrifice learning for our students by going through a strike. It is NOT hard to dismiss a poor teacher. The administrator simply has to follow the reasonable procedures and the union ensures that happens. Unions do not want bad teachers in the classroom. This bill devalues public school teachers in the worst way, it takes away our voice.
02-10-2017
Chris Rolwes [Cedar Rapids Schools]
CON
This is a poorly thought out bill that is going to hurt middle class people and eventually the Iowa economy. It is also unfair that school districts can no longer deduct union dues from our pay. If that is the case, then it shouldn't be allowed to deduct charitable contributions as well. This is a meanspirited attack on all public employees. If you want to change Chapter 20, please have those that are going to be effected by it at the table. We are watching and will do everything in our power hold those accountable who vote in favor of this poorly thought out piece of legislation.
02-10-2017
Jeanne Wicklund []
CON
I strongly oppose this bill! It has already been shown that public employees receive less than their private sector counterparts. These are the people who keep our state going, whether it be as educators of the next generation of Iowans, hospital workers, snow plow drivers, the list goes on and on. They need to have their voice heard by allowing collective bargaining to ensure that they are treated fairly. This bill will only weaken our state.
02-10-2017
Ruth Dolan [Mrs.]
CON
Please do not pass this legislation as it appears to be a direct affront to public employees and an overreach of government control. The trend in Iowa's government has been local control. Please allow us to continue to do our best in our own areas. Thank you.
02-10-2017
Emily Reeg []
CON
Vote NO!
02-10-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I am respectfully asking our legislators to vote against HSB 84/SF 213. To say that this bill will be devastating to the state of Iowa is an understatement. We need to allow our public employeesfire fighters, peace officers, corrections officers, county road crews, and teachersto work directly with their employers about the issues that affect them in their jobs. Each community knows what they need. The rights that are being taken away are the very things that these communities should be able to come together and discuss. Collective Bargaining has been law for over 40 yearsenacted by a Republican governorand has served the state of Iowa well. I urge you to "not fix wasn't isn't broken."Thank you.
02-10-2017
Missy Knop []
CON
Education is the foundation for all. Educators should be able to still have a voice. This is a field with highly educated people and are not able to earn raises like people in the private sectors. Having options and a say in our benefits makes up for a portion of our salary that we do not earn because we are educators and our position isn't viewed as important like someone in the medical field or business field.We are being taken advantage of because of our caring and hard working nature. As educators, we will still do our best work and give our all for other people's children. No matter if all of our rights to have a say in our health care, work conditions, and our job security and are taken away.
02-10-2017
Sam Johnson [Classroom Teacher]
CON
My name is Sam Johnson and I am a public educator in Iowa. This is my first year as a teacher in the district and already I have garnered a great amount of pride for my students, my school, and my community.To create the best environment for our students, it is necessary to promote an environment where professional educators have a civil and fair opportunity to collaborate and compromise. To have a voice in decisions that directly affects us as educators is invaluable. I wish this was just intense rhetoric trying to convince you to oppose these bills, but look at what has happened to the education in places like Wisconsin where similar measures have passed. Renowned physicist Albert Einstein once said, Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. The effects of bills like HSB 84 and SF 213 have already been seen in the Midwest and it is not something that is good for Iowa.I implore you to oppose HSB 84 and SF 213. These bills undermine the voice of the educator and will result in a severe drop in quality of education for our state.
02-10-2017
Anonymous [Seiu ]
CON
I feel that with this new bill (10A); you are chopping my legs off. With this bill you are taking away my right to have a justified resin to be fired. To have a group rate for insurance and then you tell them that they can cut our pay and take away my chance of a possibility of a raise. Would you want this done to you?What are you thinking. Taking away seniority after all of the years people have put in at there jobs. So now a new hire is the same as someone that has been here for 15 to 20 years. That's just wrong. Please stop and think a little more about this before you vote on this bill. This is going to hurt more people then you think.
02-10-2017
Audrey Kimball [Retired public school teacher]
CON
Children are our most valuable resource. They are our future. Today's educators hold my future, your future, Iowa's future in their classrooms and in their hearts. This bill strips them of the ability to do their job and still live a life with the grace and dignity they deserve for ensuring our future. I strongly urge every politician to walk a mile in a teachers shoes before voting on this bill. Please take time to make an informed vote and vote no.
02-10-2017
Jennifer Savery [Classroom Teacher and TLC Coach]
CON
As an educator, I am very concerned about how the many aspects of the proposed collective bargaining bill would negatively impact the quality of education for students. The relatively recent teacher leadership and compensation grants have created many positive changes in schools. In many cases, teacher leaders challenge the status quo so that schools make changes and students benefit. Eliminating evaluation procedures and deleting "for proper cause" from the suspension and discharge language could silence the voices who call for change in our schools. Those who speak out would face suspension or discharge without protection. In addition, some changes to the current structure would be undermine the progress that has been made in terms of teacher growth and development. Teachers pay for their own professional development outside of the district (licensure courses, advanced degrees, etc), in order to provide better learning experiences for their students. Eliminating pay commiserate with education and experience would deter educators from engaging in professional development. Many teachers wouldn't be able to afford those experiences. There are problems with public education; however, these bills are not the answer. These bills create more problems than they cure. Yes, we do need reform; this measure,, though, will not improve schools for Iowa's children. Jennifer Savery
02-10-2017
Tony Arduini [Kirkwood Community College]
CON
This bill doesn't modernize anything. This moves worker rights backward in time closer to the 19th century. This goes way beyond my work as a teacher, as I will be able to retire soon if I wish. It is the first step to the bad old days when workers had no rights at all. Yes that is cheaper for employers but what is the cost to the economy, our children, and our reputation as good state to come to work?
02-10-2017
Beth Lauterbach [Mrs.]
CON
I am intrigued by people who introduce and support bills without knowing, let alone checking out the source of information presented. That screams, "someone handed this to me and said we want you to say this." Our elected officials should be focused on Iowa and what is appropriate for Iowa, not on ticking off one more state falling into line on a national agenda. (I don't like this when either party pulls this, by the way.) If you don't want to serve the people of Iowa, then resign, you don't need to wait to lose an election. If you wish to serve big money, then resign and apply to them for jobs. Unions provide a line of communication for information to flow 2 directions, they provide for representation from management and staff when establishing clear and fair expectations. I am 40 veteran educator. Unlike the ad I have seen plastered on tv this week, any talk I have heard about leaving the field of education is based on focus on treating students as an end product vs a living, growing, learning Being; that is an individual, not an item. I will retire soon, and what I will miss is my school "family", not the shift in focus. This is not the time to throw away conversations and close doors.
02-10-2017
Anonymous []
CON
This bill would hurt Iowa more than help it. Our education system would go from a first rate system to one needing a total makeover because it would be almost impossible to keep our current teachers as well as bring in the good ones.
02-10-2017
Anonymous [Spirit Lake Community Schools]
CON
I oppose this attack on Iowa Workers and our right to bargain. This process has served our state well for the past 40 years and should continue to do so. It's bad enough that Governor Branstad proposed a mere 2% increase in educational spending; however it is far worse that our republican senators and representatives cut that to 1.1% and then blindsided public sector workers with this direct attack on our right to bargain. This issue was NOT campaigned on and will irreversibly weaken our state's position as a beacon of educational accomplishment in our nation. I implore you to OPPOSE HF291 and SF 213. I hope that you will vote your conscience and do what is right for Iowa students and teachers. Thank you for your time and consideration.
02-10-2017
Janice Winkelbauer []
CON
Bill HF219 is a disaster waiting to happen. This bill takes away public employees ability to stand up for themselves. We work in jobs that are of service to the community. As public employees we are under great scrutiny from the publics we carry out our duties. While disagreements and dialogue are an important aspect to the growth of and expanding the quality of our services, particularly education. Teachers need to be protected through the fair and equal evaluation system so they can advocate for their students without fear of being fired because their professional expertise and opinions are not in agreement with parents or administration or school period. As a special education teacher of the severe and profound population, this would be a constant and crippling fear for me as a teacher as I have to advocate to my administration for the education my students have the right to as guaranteed in IDEA. The majority of administrators have not taught special education and do not understand the needs of students with severe and profound disabilities. Some of these administrators have their own ideas what education should be for these students and are not receptive to changes. Without the ability to safely advocate for our students without fear of punishment or termination, the education of our students will suffer. Taking away the ability of public employees to file grievances, a fair evaluation process, and transfers makes more difficult for those who are public employees to do our jobs well and continue to grow our profession.
02-10-2017
Kaylynn Strain [.]
CON
Public employees deserve the same rights and protections as privatevs3cyor workers. This b8ll 8s nothing but an.offront to worker dignity.
02-10-2017
Susan Ackerman [North Butler Schools]
CON
This bill is simply a punitive measure aimed at people who typically support democratic candidates. It is a continued effort by the Republican party to systematically dismantle public education. I do not understand why they are targeting people who conritually and repeatedly give of themselves to help others.
02-10-2017
Anonymous [Teacher]
CON
Vote "YES"approve the billMake it also affect Supt. Principals, Assistant Principals, etc.
02-10-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I urge you to vote NO on Chapter 20 changes. As the Iowa Policy Project has said (link), these changes to 119,000 working Iowans lives would:Cost the taxpayers substantial amounts of moneyCreate more red tape in governmentDecrease accountabilityLower Iowans wagesAccelerate brain drainIncrease income inequalityDisproportionately hurt rural areas of IowaWiden the gender pay gapCause staff shortages in education and in health careAs the Labor Center has noted (link), the current bargaining law, Chapter 20, was a carefullycrafted compromise based on input from labor, legislators, and the public that has worked well for over 40 years. The current bill was designed behind closed doors without public input or discussion. There is no reason to rush through drastic changes to the law that would hurt Iowans.
02-10-2017
Gaige Gill [West Branch High School Teacher]
CON
Collective bargaining does not keep bad teachers. We have a mentor program in place and documentation procedures to help struggling teachers and to get rid of teachers who aren't doing their jobs. Teachers mold the minds of the future. The quality of people entering the profession is at stake. Bargaining is a positive thing for all parities and the students because it allows for collaboration and compromise. Giving superintendents and school boards all of the power is not what's best for our students or for Iowa.
02-10-2017
Laura Mickey [West Burlington Independent School District]
CON
Please hear us. We are not asking for handouts, we are asking for a fair voice for our working conditions. Please, fight for us. Fight for our right to be able to have a say in the conditions that we are working in every day. Fight for us to be able to work with a contract that we find fair. Fight for our ability to have a say in things that will impact our lives. All of these things will not only impact us (educators and other public employees), but also our community as a whole.
02-10-2017
Anonymous []
CON
Do you not listen to the governor of Wisconsin who is now admitting that passing a similar law in Wisconsin has ruined their education system? Why would you want that for Iowa? I don't understand what you are thinking. Take a look at Wisconsin and what a mess it is in! I am begging you to please vote NO on this bill!
02-10-2017
Anonymous [ISEA-Retired]
CON
SF 213 and HF 291 look like disasters waiting to happen. It looks like the legislature is targeting the most caring people in the state to demean their importance, intelligence, and status. The consequences of stripping collective bargaining rights for public employees will ripple wider than is being considered and not in a good way. The negative results will be multiplied more that any positive result that might be hoped for. This action does not align with moving Iowa forward to achieve a more inviting, attractive, or productive place to live or work. It will drive a wedge rather than bring people together. It is a hurtful action similar to cutting off ones nose to spite ones face. Neither bill should be enacted.
02-10-2017
Robert Long []
CON
This legislation will set labor relations back 50 years and will drive quality teachers away from the state and profession.
02-10-2017
Jill Cochran [ISEA]
CON
I am writing to urge you not to pass the antiworker bill. I am very concerned as are others that this is something that is being rushed to pass. It was created 40 some years ago, but is going to be stripped in five days without any conversations with the very people it will affect. I feel this is irrational behavior as elected officials. With that said, I have been at the negotiating table with our school board members for about 15 years, and when it is all said and done we do find mutually agreed upon language changes and salary increases that are best for our students. Teachers need to be at the table to share what is happening in the everyday activities of a school. School board members are not regularly present in our school buildings and rely on that communication to get a clear view of the work that is done. Changes to collective bargaining that are presented in this bill will be devastating to our students, they will suffer when qualified teachers leave our district in search of better employment. This will not make the lives of Iowans better, and grow a stronger economy, but rather the opposite. Please listen to the 250,000 workers in Iowa this will affect and vote NO to this bill that will financially cripple so many.
02-10-2017
Julia Leonard [individual]
CON
I oppose this proposed legistlation vigorously. Iowa, once an example of stellar public education and public service, is demolishing all that will keep people in this state. All workers and individuals should maintain the right to assemble to petition/bargain their employers for wages, benefits and a safe working environment. This legislation serves the few rather than the people of this state. It is evident that legislators who support this do not represent the constituents who sent them there. And I thank those legislators who have the courage to oppose this. Sincerely, Julia Leonard
02-10-2017
Casie Kaiser [DCSD]
CON
I oppose the collective bargaining bill as a parent and educator! Our children's future is too important! We are proud of our Iowa public schools! This bill benefits no one!!!
02-10-2017
Tambi Heiter [Bondurant-Farrar CDD]
CON
STOP these partisan attacks on public employees: teachers, nurses, firefighters, corrections officers, police, nurses, laborers. We are the backbone of this economy. We are not the enemy! This is a complete and utter betrayal of what makes Iowa the great place it is. Don't make our state an embarrassment like Wisconsin. DO YOUR JOB like we do every single day!
02-10-2017
Nancy Orchard []
CON
When politicians are running for elected office and posturing about what they will do for the people of their state, you hear a lot of promises. You hear promises to taxpayers, promises to the middle class, promises to businesses, etc. The bills currently being considered in the Senate and House are an affront to state employees and the arguments in support of these bills are a distortion of the working climate in our state offices. Passing SF 213/HF 291 will only serve to discourage many of the good people you have, who feel so passionately that their work has meaning and look forward to getting up each day and doing the work of the people of the State of Iowa. This tells them their work does not matter. Do we have good benefits?you bet we dobut taking away our right to bargain will put us in the same boat with private industrynowhere to go for recompenseor as a former employer once told me, If you dont like it, theres the door. Its easy to ride roughshod over peoples lives when you are in power, however, power is fleeting; I would hope you would use it judiciously. We are state employees, we are taxpayers, and we are voters. I hope you will pause for a moment to think about that and do the right thing when you vote. Otherwise, the voters of Iowa may be telling you when your term ends, theres the door. I ask that you vote "no" on this bill.
02-10-2017
Shane Glew []
CON
Gutting Chapter 20 is a horrible and disastrous idea. This is union busting and is disrespectful to every union member in the state...every citizen of Iowa. Self serving and ill Conceived on out governor's part. You can not vote in favor of gutting chapter 20 and say with any degree of honesty that you care of Iowa and Iowa's labor force. VOTE NO!
02-10-2017
Lynnette Halstead [SEIU 199]
CON
I am a registered nurse in the ER at UIHC. As a public employee, and a nurse, I believe that patient safety and care would be negatively impacted by this bill.
02-10-2017
Kim Magee [Waukee Community Schools]
CON
Collective bargaining has served Iowa well for over 40 years. If there are parts such as insurance that need to be looked at, so be it. Scrapping it all and leaving teachers with no voice will not solve our problems.
02-10-2017
Lynnette Halstead [SEIU 199]
CON
I am a nurse in the ER at UIHC. I believe that patient safety and care would be negatively impacted by this bill. Nursing care is best given when staff have a safe platform to give administrators feedback about how care is delivered. Nurses in Iowa are already the lowest paid in the country, and are by no means a burden on the taxpayer. Patient assaults against staff are common in our ER, and our union has been attempting to improve this situation by working collaboratively with management.
02-10-2017
Robert Swinney [Parent]
CON
Dear Senator Smith,I am writing you in opposition to the collective bargaining bill SF 213. I am a parent of three school aged children in the Pleasant Valley Community School District who is concerned that this bill will lesson the quality of education my children receive. I am also a home owner concerned about the value of my home should this bill negatively effect the school district and thus property values. I am also a tax payer who is concerned that my tax payer dollars are being shifted away from high quality locally controlled education to some yet undefined purpose. The citizens of Iowa deserve better. I am also a registered voter who votes.Sincerely,Robert Swinney
02-10-2017
Anonymous []
CON
The current bill regarding collective bargaining was created in a bipartisan manner and has served Iowa and it's workers fairly. The claim that Iowa public workers are "overpaid" in relation to the public sector is not only a misrepresentation of statistics, but also doesn't take into account the very different nature of our jobs. We are entrusted to educate and build esteem of the community's children, to ensure safety, and to efficiency in our communities.In regards to education specifically, collective bargaining not only affects teacher salary, but also other benefits like health insurance and conditions like class size, and contract hours. Stripping teachers of this voice will decrease incentive for quality teachers to stay in the profession, or to live in Iowa. I am a high school Spanish teacher that has sent students on to college already having earned college credit due to work in my courses. After my home state of Wisconsin enacted Act 20, I moved, and will do the same here. I and other workers have no intention to work under conditions in which our efforts are not at least recognized as valuable. Five years later, districts in Wisconsin struggle to attract teachers to fill positions, and the overall quality of education has undeniably decreased. Iowa boasts a strong history of great education and has a lot to lose if it were to follow the same path.
02-10-2017
Carol Stotts [Retired]
CON
This is a major change that could effect Iowa's economy, education, and public services. It deserves extensive study and public involvement. Can you explain your reasons for pushing this through so fast that the people don't have time to consider the consequences? Even the members of the legislature cannot explain the ramifications of this bill.
02-10-2017
Jill Malmer [Tax payer]
CON
Hello, my name is Jill Malmer. I live and work in Davenport. I am a tax payer, a voter, AND a state employee. I work for an agency that helps Iowans get or upgrade employment, access training to increase skills, and administers unemployment benefits. Specifically, I work in in Iowa's welfare to work program. I help welfare recipients on their path to becoming selfsufficient, contributing members of our community. I also ensure that my participants are following program requirements for their benefits to continue. I love my job and take pride in the work I do helping my fellow Iowans. I would like to record my opposition to this bill. The benefits that public employees receive are a result of fair negations with our employers over the last 42 years. We have repeatedly forgone wage increases in order to maintain other benefits. Our contracts have ensured fair treatment in the workplace. The only argument that I have heard for these changes are that taxpayers deserve a seat at the table. Please know that I am a taxpayer. The employer proposals are in the interest of the taxpayers, state, city, county and agency budgets. The taxpayers are already at the table. This bill, this attack on working people is not Iowan. It is not who we are. In Iowa we help our neighbors and take care of each other, we dont tear each other down and take from each other. I urge all of you to be brave, stand with the teachers, police, fire fighters, road workers, nurses, social workers, snow plow drivers, corrections, court workers, bus drivers, university staff, and all other city, county and state workers. Remember that you are here to represent them NOT to harm them. Thank you.
02-10-2017
Rhonda Scott [1957]
CON
Collective Bargaining was put in place to help Iowans. Removing it hurts them. I grew up in Iowa where we help all kinds of people. Listening to Chuck Holz say he is voting for the bill and doesn't care what his constitutes say was very saddening to me. Iowans deserve to be represented for what they deserve not what a few representatives think is good for them. Iowans should not have to fight this hard. I watched an employer harass state employees to the point of them choosing to retire rather than put up with the harassment. Good cause should be left in place as should seniority and insurance for state employees and it should be added to not removing from. State employees are a giving group of people who are not paid what the private sector pays. The changes being proposed are not in the best interest of Iowans and shame on any representative, senator, or Governor that thinks it is.
02-10-2017
Rick Klein []
CON
Do not pass this bill. This bill is wrong evil & unchristian. Why would anyone vote for this.
02-10-2017
CHRIS LAFRENZ []
CON
I urge you to vote no on this legislation. It is not necessary. Governor Branstad is mistaken when he says that the laws governing collective bargaining are outdated. These laws enable me to have a voice about my working conditions. Public educators are required to sign a contract. We should be able to negotiate what is in it. This legislation is a huge leap backwards and not what you want people to think about Iowa. In other states where similar legislation passed, the working conditions have deteriorated to the point that many good people have moved from those states to somewhere where they were valued. The message this bill gives us is that we are worthless and not necessary. Please vote no.
02-10-2017
Sonja and Craig Grimsley [Sonja- teacher in the Sioux City Community School District ]
CON
I am a teacher for the Sioux City Community School District. I believe HF 291 is a bill that is directly targeted at teachers because of half of the publics misconception and misunderstanding of the need for collective bargaining in our profession. The public is mislead to believe we have the "Cadillac" of healthcare, which is simply not true. We bargain to offer a competitive wage/benefits to bring highly qualified teachers to the Sioux City area, as well as to the state of Iowa, who has continually underfunded education in the state for the last 8 to 10 years. When you mess with one of the cities largest employers, it is detrimental to the city, rural areas, and the state of Iowa itself. If you want students to be future ready, the state needs to back education as well as its profession. Teachers should not be treated unequal to safety public employees who get to keep their collective bargaining rights. WE ARE HIGHLY QUALIFIED INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE ALWAYS ASKED TO DO MORE WITH LESS. Leveling the playing field means to give people what they need. Teachers need a voice when their livelihood/profession is at stake. Thank you for your time.Sincerely,Sonja and Craig Grimsley
02-10-2017
Josh Deutmeyer []
CON
This bill does nothing to improve the quality of life in our state. It does not entice people to want to work in the public sector. Unions have built the middle class. The government's failure to budget properly is not the fault of the public workers.
02-10-2017
Jason Blaser []
CON
Fortythree years ago Republican Governor Robert Ray signed Chapter 20 into law with the vision to "promote harmonious and cooperative relationships between government and its employees." For the past four decades this has happened, resulting in Iowa's teachers, police officers, and snowplow drivers, to name only a few, feeling appreciated and compensated with deserving salaries and benefits for the tireless efforts put forth towards bettering this great state each and every day. HF 291 is a slap to the face of public employees and shows us how different today's political landscape is compared to when Chapter 20 was born from bipartisan efforts. In fact just eight years ago the chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa Jeff Kaufmann praised the original collective bargaining law. What has gotten so bad with the law in eight years Mr. Kaufmann that change is needed? Nothing, yet your party is trying to completely overhaul an unbroken law. I hold out faith that the Republicans representing Iowa's future listen to the voice of the masses and leave Chapter 20 untouched. There is not shame in bringing a bill to debate and conceding due to the fact that it will not improve the Hawkeye State into one that our own people stay to live within forever and call home, as well as have visitors from neighboring states cross Iowa's borders and never go back. Show Iowa's public employees they are valued by keeping Chapter 20 unchanged.
02-10-2017
Buzz Malone [American Federation of Government Employees]
CON
While it may be relatively easy to sit in a room with lobbyists from major contributors to the Republican party (like ALEC & Americans for Prosperity), and envision yourselves striking a blow against union bosses in Washington, D.C., this bill does not do that. The ones most injured and offended by this bill will not be some faraway imagined union fat cats. Injured will be the city workers in YOUR hometown. The men and women up before sunrise to clear the roads in your county. The teachers in the classrooms, and the bus driver who has a small family farm and already uses all of her pay so their family can have the healthcare. Offended by this bill will be the union members all around you in your hometowns. The postal worker delivering your letters. The UPS driver who greets you with a smile. The nurse at the Veterans Hospital. The truck driver at the local warehouse. The carpenter. The electrician. The tens of thousands of union members throughout the state who you have formerly called friends, and neighbors, and even voter of yours. This legislation strikes to the quick of every union member in the state of every stripe. And where some have been confused about issues here or there, or favored one candidate over another because of guns or abortion or whatever the case may be, NONE of them will overlook this affront. This is not Wisconsin and neither the Koch Brothers, nor their lobbyists, live in your neighborhoods or your districts. WE DO.
02-10-2017
Emily Barwacz [Nurse]
CON
I am adamantly opposed to this proposal. I feel this is a direct attack on the middle class and the civil servants in our communities. It's a serious insult to the work we do on a daily basis and clearly is under appreciated by those of you pushing this agenda. You are viewing this from a fiscal prospective and are lacking the insight as to the impact this will have long term. Once you take away bargaining rights, you take away a nurses ability to tell her management that her staffing is unsafe for patient care. If we weaken our ability to bargain for benefits you'll lose the only ticket that keeps nurses at the university hospital. We are already one of the lowest paid states in the nation. You're thinking short term but losing sight of the long term implications this will have on Iowans both included in union contracts currently and those Iowans who are served by us union members as we carry out our jobs. Lastly, where are your constituents who wanted this reform? I do not know a single republican who voted for a state representative running on this platform. My only hope is the governor has the good sense to stop this bait and switch from taking place should it reach it desk.
02-10-2017
Nancy Orchard []
CON
When politicians are running for elected office and posturing about what they will do for the people of their state, you hear a lot of promises. You hear promises to taxpayers, promises to the middle class, promises to businesses, etc. The bills currently being considered in the Senate and House are an affront to those all those professionals employed by state and local governments and the arguments in support of these are a travesty. Passing this bill will only serve to discourage many of the good people you have, who feel so passionately that their work has meaning and look forward to getting up each day and doing the work of the people of the State of Iowa. Do we have good benefits?you bet we dobut taking away our right to bargain will put us in the same boat with private industrynowhere to go for recompenseor as a former employer once told me, If you dont like it, theres the door. Its easy to ride roughshod over peoples lives when you are in power, however, power is fleeting; I would hope you would use it judiciously. We are state employees, we are taxpayers, and we are voters. I hope you will pause for a moment to think about that and do the right thing when you vote. Otherwise, the voters of Iowa may be telling you when your term ends, theres the door. I urge you to vote "no."
02-10-2017
Decker Truesdell [Father of a teacher ]
CON
I am strongly against taking away a workers voice in the workplace. I support collective bargaining in the Sate of Iowa.
02-10-2017
Pamela Walsh []
CON
Listen to your constituents. This is getting ridiculous.
02-10-2017
Susan mrzena []
CON
As a retired member of local 106 carpenters Union and a retired state employee with the department of human services, department of workforce development, Des Moines area community college , I have relied on my collective bargaining agreement to ensure her fair Nash in my workplace. I was the first woman invited to join the carpenters union and would have never been allowed to join if not for collectivebargaining agreements. My son is a union member my daughterinlaw works for Madison county and my other daughter in law works for Bondurant school. We rely on the collective bargaining agreement to guarantee equality.
02-10-2017
Barbara Cunningham []
CON
Iowa Public Employees deserve more not less.
02-11-2017
Thomas C. Gibbons []
CON
At the very least this is a dirty trick of the type that energizes the political opposition. After a long period of saying that, well, there probably wont be major changes to public employee bargaining such as in Wisconsin, and after hearing the Governor suggest that he just wants to create a larger group for health insurance, then all of a sudden here comes this. Although there are some exceptions, thank goodness, it nearly rips up bargaining for public employees.Springing it suddenly one day, starting hearings the next, and trying to get it to the Governor in a week or two, nearly record time, just makes it worse.And where is the need for it? This state is in good financial shape even with a small, temporary shortfall caused more by corporate welfare than anything else. Public employees are paid about average for the nation, and the current system has kept peace in relations with public employees for a long time. Why disrupt that?These are the people who teach your children, preserve public health by treating and disposing of sewage, attend to public safety by clearing ice and snow, attend to you when you are in a hospital, and much more. What did they do to deserve this?
02-11-2017
Stephanie Kempker [AFSCME Local 2989]
CON
Please stand in support of our unions and uphold our collective bargaining rights.
02-11-2017
Jill Tindall [ISEA]
CON
SF 213 and HF 291 are two of the worst ideas that our Iowa Senators and Representatives have ever come up in the past 4 decades. They disenfranchise our state's public workers completely. How can we expect people working for our common good to continue to provide an extremely high level of service to the citizens of the Great State of Iowa when their voices and ideas are completely cut out of the discussion?
02-11-2017
Thomas Klett [citizen]
CON
This is a unionbusting bill, plain and simple. As a parent, I want the best schools and the best teachers. That's accomplished by providing the funding districts neednot be destroying all of the protections that allow intelligent and creative individuals to teach future generations of Iowans.
02-11-2017
Hal Chase [Citizen]
CON
I will discuss my concerns if I am allowed to speakThank you
02-11-2017
Mary Cartmill [West Harrison Education Association]
CON
Vote NO on Collective Bargaining
02-11-2017
Kris Klinehart [Cedar Falls Education Association]
CON
This bill will dismantle 40 years of diligent work between administratiors and their staff. Hour after hour, night after night, year after year, compromises were reached. Open communication strengthened relationships and understanding of each other's roles and at the end of the day we were always all about what's best for kids. Both sides agree collective bargaining has been good for the public school districts of Iowa. The only reason for gutting collective bargaining is an attempt to destroy the teacher's union which historically has supported Democratic candidates. And of course it is always about money. Money! Not what's best for kids! Money! This bill disrespects educators and discourages young people from entering the profession. The teacher shortages across the country will become a reality in Iowa. And the public school children of Iowa and their families will suffer the most. As an educator of 35 years I can only say Shame on you Republican Legislators.
02-11-2017
Eric Larew []
CON
This bill will set back education in Iowa 40 years. Progress made the last few decades have come through districts working hand in hand with teachers' associations. The recent Teacher Leadership and Compensation plan came about in this way. Our Republican governor takes great pride in that initiative but it would not have succeeded through topdown implementation. Going back to the 1980s, another plan to improve our schools our Republican governor participated in, Phase I, II, and III, came about through working with the teachers' associations.In addition to Iowa's successes, look at other states' failures. The impact on Wisconsin education as a result of such a similar bill has lasted for years, resulted in a teacher shortage in that state, and now has that governor suggesting over 1/2 billion dollars to try to recoup some of the losses to education since that state passed its bill.Please, look at evidence. Use rational reasoning and not philosophical dictates that don't work in our state. Vote no on this bill.
02-11-2017
Pauline Carr [CEA]
CON
Taking away bargaining rights of public employees won't save tax payers money or protect workers. It will make it less attractive to work in these fields at a time when it's becoming more and more difficult to attract people to these positions.
02-11-2017
Steven Chassé []
CON
I would like to speak as a teacher, a parent, the spouse of a teacher and a concerned citizen of Iowa.
02-11-2017
Anonymous [Teacher]
PRO
Vote yes! Vote this through!Make sure this affects Superintendents, Principals, etc.
02-11-2017
Eloise M. Cranke [Methodist Federation for Social Action, Iowa Chapter]
CON
I'm writing to urge you to oppose HF291, a bill which would, in essence, gut collective bargaining. I am a member of Methodist Federation for Social Action, an organization, which has from its beginning been a strong voice for the rights of workers. Collective bargaining in regard to wages, health insurance, and other employment matters is critical to insuring that the rights of workers are heard and respected. Iowa's Collective Bargaining law has worked well for many years. Please oppose any efforts to weaken it. Teachers, Policemen, Nurses, Firemen, and others who serve the community tirelessly deserve the protection of collective bargaining in which they have a voice.
02-11-2017
Rory Ingwersen [Department Of Corrections]
CON
This will take away all the work our forefathers have fought to get us over all these decades. legitimately it is taking the bargaining away from the people. Weather you are Republican or Democrat this is going to affect someone in your family directly or indirectly.
02-11-2017
Anonymous []
CON
This bill will set back education in Iowa 40 years. Progress made the last few decades have come through districts working hand in hand with teachers' associations. The recent Teacher Leadership and Compensation plan came about in this way. Our Republican governor takes great pride in that initiative but it would not have succeeded through topdown implementation. Going back to the 1980s, another plan to improve our schools our Republican governor participated in, Phase I, II, and III, came about through working with the teachers' associations.In addition to Iowa's successes, look at other states' failures. The impact on Wisconsin education as a result of such a similar bill has lasted for years, resulted in a teacher shortage in that state, and now has that governor suggesting over 1/2 billion dollars to try to recoup some of the losses to education since that state passed its bill.Please, look at evidence. Use rational reasoning and not philosophical dictates that don't work in our state. Vote no on this bill.
02-11-2017
Anonymous []
CON
This bill will set back education in Iowa 40 years. Progress made the last few decades has come through districts working hand in hand with teachers' associations. The recent Teacher Leadership and Compensation plan came about in this way. Our Republican governor takes great pride in that initiative but it would not have succeeded through topdown implementation. Going back to the 1980s, another plan to improve our schools that our Republican governor participated in, Phase I, II, and III, came about through working with the teachers' associations.In addition to Iowa's successes, look at other states' failures. The impact on Wisconsin education as a result of such a similar bill has lasted for years, resulted in a teacher shortage in that state, and now has that governor suggesting over 1/2 billion dollars to try to recoup some of the losses to education since that state passed its bill.Please, look at evidence. Use rational reasoning and not philosophical dictates that don't work in our state. Vote no on this bill.
02-11-2017
Bryan Anderson []
CON
Use your Iowan common sense and vote NO! As a grad student at Iowa and employee at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, I can tell you this bill will be tragic for the future of Iowa. On the state level, we have to remain competitive with other states. This bill will effectively remove Iowa from anyone's job hunt list. Also, this bill will drive away existing educators in the public schools and universities. Why stay in a state that obviously has no respect for its employees? Students won't pursue graduate or professional degrees in Iowa because of this bill. Grad students help teach courses and work in labs at lower wages and one of the benefits is that health insurance is provided for. Other states that provide competitive benefits will reap the reward of attracting skilled and competent employees, but not Iowa. We will feel the destructive impact of this bill and become nothing but a void in the middle of the country that no one bothers to look at.
02-11-2017
Julie Orth [AFSCME ]
CON
I am attending to show my solidarity against chapter 20. We as Iowans and taxpayers do not support the repeal of this bill. Please vote No!
02-11-2017
Kelli Besst Meyer []
CON
Why do I work for the State of Iowa?Did I do it to become rich? The answer is no.I did it because I strongly believe in fairness.I choose the law field and want to see all be treated with respect and dignity.Do I want a fair wage and benefits? yesAfter 20 years it is not fair to change the rules on seniority and fairness in the workplace. I pay taxes. I and my coworkers work hard day in and day out.My job is a stressful job. My job has challenges the private sector does not face. Two weeks ago amale comes(for a minor traffic charge) in the courthouse and the security happens to spot a glimpse of a piece of metal.The man is searched found is a knife, a bb gun (it looked like a black handgun), meth and marijuana and a butane torch. All this on his person. This person was caught. HOW MANY ARE MISSED AND HOW DANGEROUS DO YOU THINK THIS COULD OF BEEN.My husband works in private sector. Has been at his job for 3 years. Again I have been at mine of 20 plus years. He makes more than I do. He hasequal if not more benefits. He and I both have afour year college education. My husband's place of business does have more security than both courthouse's of I have been employed. This bill is not fair nor does it respect the hard working State of Iowa employees. If this bill was a good idea, why I ask is it not affecting the legislatures own pay and benefits.Fair is leading by example.
02-11-2017
Brian Lushinsky [AFSME Local 525]
CON
I believe good leaders are the ones who can walk in others shoes; those who are willing to look at themselves first to see what they can do in their lives and their budgets. The good folks of Iowa that have chosen to work for the state are not like many corporations who are only here for what they can get. Many Iowan's like myself were born and have lived in a rural community for nearly 50 years. We spend our money here; we don't take it out of Iowa or the country. I have worked for the Department of Corrections for nearly 7 years. I work every weekend, nearly every holiday as well as evenings. I, and multiple coworkers, have been physically and verbally assaulted. I and my coworkers have given up many things in our lives in return for the wages and benefits we receive. We are not getting rich I can assure you; but I'm not complaining either. The unintended consequence of this bill has already been voiced to me by coworkers and thought in my own mind; I will need to quit eating out, quit buying things I can do without. We will wait on that car upgrade, the remodel on the hose can wait, the cable bill can be cut or eliminated, and on and on... We spend our money and that is what makes this financial system work. Think about when you play Monopoly; when one has bankrupted all the others he is the winner, but the game is over. I had never before considered moving from Iowa... but that thought has now crossed my mind. I urge you, my elected leaders, treat us as if we were your mother, father, sister , or brother, do the will of the people, not undermine the middle class and hang us out to dry. Do what is right so you can look us in the eye when we see you and you will not need to look away in shame. Thank You
02-11-2017
Brian Woodford []
CON
I am strongly opposed to this legislation.These proposed changes will essentially gut all worker rights that are used to create a harmonious work environment. Educators who have in class experience work hard to create master contracts with school districts that are mutually beneficial to both parties. When Teachers are removed from the equation you are left with boards who may not be qualified in any manner to make decisions about a public school district. When board who has very little educational background are left to make decisions without teacher input creates a scary future for our state's education.
02-11-2017
Sarah Hogan [Retired school teacher, I am a member of ISEA]
CON
Good evening. I am a retired school teacher and my name is Sarah Hogan. I believe that quality state government must include taking care of your people. To do that you need a network of strong public employees in place. I like to think of that as human infrastructure. I am going to tell you a story. At the beginning of my career I was a child care center director. There was a fouryearold boy who was placed in our center through a protective child care program. That meant that there were some struggles at home and this little guy needed a safe place to spend his days. His attendance was not good so I called to report that. I knew that the caseworkers had very large caseloads. I explained that his attendance was poor. I could not keep track of where the little boy and his mom were living. I suspected they were homeless. The little boy had a rash which needed to be looked at by a doctor. I was told that this family was doing fine. A couple weeks later, the mother locked the little guy out of the house overnight on a March night. She was placed in a substance abuse treatment program and other arrangements were made for the little boy. This has experience been key to shaping my political beliefs. Human infrastructure is so vital to caring for our citizens. I am frustrated by appropriations to our departments and our schools. And now the changes in the work environments for our public employees. We are going to eliminate seniority benefits and perks. What does that mean? The question I will leave you with is this: How much is it worth to you to have a high quality human infrastructure in place to take care of our people?
02-11-2017
Anonymous []
CON
Public servants are also our neighbors, customers, and fellow citizens. Gutting their union of most benefits while retaining all responsibilities is destructive for our state. Talent will go elsewhere, once again making Iowa a state to leave. The wages they bargain for go to pay for mortgages and groceries and insurance and contribute to the wellbeing of our state. At the very least, we should have time to debate. Since this law was created in secret, excluding the very unions it is aimed at and this law creates an unnecessary division and is dishonorable in its inception, it should be defeated.
02-11-2017
Lindsay Seamer [Pleasant View]
CON
Please vote no on this bill. Districts, such as Pleasant Valley, where I am both a teacher and parent, working hand in hand with teachers' associations have accomplished so much and in such positive ways where we see everyone benefit. We have established mutual trust! The recent Teacher Leadership and Compensation plan came about in this way. Our Republican governor takes great pride in that initiative but it would not have succeeded through topdown implementation. Going back to the 1980s, another plan to improve our schools our Republican governor participated in, Phase I, II, and III, came about through working with the teachers' associations.In addition to Iowa's successes, look at other states' failures. The impact on Wisconsin education as a result of such a similar bill has lasted for years, resulted in a teacher shortage in that state, and now has that governor suggesting over 1/2 billion dollars to try to recoup some of the losses to education since that state passed its bill.Please, we beg you to look at evidence. Use rational reasoning and not philosophical dictates that don't work in our state. The school districts in Iowa are successful and working together is why!
02-11-2017
Kathryn Kramer Lee []
CON
My mother was a school teacher for over 30 years and she taught me to do my homework before taking a stand. So I've done some research on the economic impact of collective bargaining that I would like to share with you as you consider HF291. I share this in good faith, believing that you are my representatives and are willing to not only listen, but carefully, mindfully consider how your vote on this matter will impact the people of Iowa.I believe there is common ground here, whether Democrat or Republican, we all want a strong middle class. So perhaps we need to ask ourselves how collective bargaining impacts the growth of middle class wages? How might weakening the collective barganing rights of workers impact the wages of all middle class workers?Collective Bargaining is good for the economic health of our state. Research by the Economic Policy Institute (2015) found, "The states where collective bargaining eroded the most since 1979 had the lowest growth in middleclass wages and the largest gap between rising productivity growth and middleclass wage growth."Furthermore, "The erosion of collective bargaining has undercut wages and benefits not only for union members, but for nonunion workers as well. This has been a major cause of middleclass income stagnation and rising inequality. Yet, millions of workers desire union representation but are not able to obtain it. Restoring workers ability to organize and bargain collectively for improved compensation and a voice on the job is a major public policy priority." (Economic Policy Institute 2015)I urge you to consider the economic ramifications of this legislation and oppose HF291. You may find more detailed information about this research done by a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization, the Economic Policy Institute in the attached document.Thank you for your consideration.Sincerely,Kathryn K Lee
Attachment
02-11-2017
Bernadette Scolaro [Ms.]
CON
Chapter 20 is not broken. Collective bargaining came about under a Republican governor and it has worked. To suddenly take our rights away to negotiate, whether it is for leave, insurance or pay, you are undermining me and all the public service workers who provide YOU with a public service. I am a school counselor in the public school system, and we have struggled for years to make our system better, but gutting our right to collective bargaining is like a slap in the face, that all we have done just doesn't matter. It won't help our students and it won't attract top teachers to work in our state, or stay in our state to work. Why would they? Iowa used to pride itself of their educational system. With this, no more. Please leave collective bargaining alone.
02-11-2017
Kerry McCandless []
CON
Please take in consideration all that state employees do. Do not take away bargaining rights. Use Wisconsin as a role model and how it was a disaster for their state by losing qualified educators and other state employees. As a registered voter I emplore you to keep bargaining rights as they are. Fair for all.
02-11-2017
Julie Noltee [Afscme ]
CON
I am a Correctional Officer. Please preserve the collective bargaining rights that have been in place since 1974, serving well the state of Iowa.
02-11-2017
Kathy Paul [North Union High School]
CON
Please do not support this legislation. This is an attack on my profession that I dearly love. It will affect my livelihood greatly as I am a widow and a single wage earner. You have no idea how devastated I am by this legislation. I already live pay check to pay check and you are going to make it worse please do not support this bill.If you really want what's best for children and the future of Iowa you will find yourself voting against this law.Thank you for your consideration.Kathy Paul
02-11-2017
Anonymous []
CON
Please leave chapter 20 alone. It was written by Republicans & signed into law by a Republican governor. Collective bargaining embodies three of the five most fundamental rights found in the First Amendment: Speech, Association, & Petition. What's more, no one works harder for Iowa or sacrifices more than our public employees like firefighters, law enforcement and teachers. They shouldn't be made to suffer for how our surplus has been squandered. Show Iowans that you believe in and want to protect our beloved servants. Otherwise you will face protests & national media attention just like Wisconsin did. You're better than that. If you care about Iowa teachers, police officers and firefighters, prove it. Protect our rights, don't repeal them! Leave Chapter 20 alone.
02-11-2017
Nancy Porter []
CON
This bill addresses collective bargaining as though it is a bad thing. Requiring a majority Of those Eligible to vote annually is a waste of time. For Those who support collective bargaining their time is better spent in contributing ideas for items to be discussed. When Governor Ray signed the collective bargaining bill, he did so to eliminate problems. That bill was produced by a bi partisan Legislature that worked together to solve problems. Teachers saw needs for their students that were discussed in a mutual setting and desire to help students. A locked desk drawer for teachers, central purchase of materials to be distributed instead of each building paying more for items such as construction paper and paint and desks were some simple items discussed. Coordinating curriculum so transferring students would not lose instruction time. Were all these items mandatory? No but it was for the best of the students to discuss them so we did. In our discussions we found beneficial answers. These served the students. The idea of having a mandatory discussion time provided a win situation for everyone. We were and are all advocates for the students in our classroom. All workers see ways to improve working situations. Efficiency and safety should be and are shared concerns. Don't take that discussion time away from the people who do the job. The bill as written will do damage to our life in Iowa.
02-11-2017
Daniel Broek [NWAEA]
CON
I am a consistent Republican Voter. I wanted Ted Cruz but ended up reluctantly voting Donald Trump in order to ensure we get a conservative judge on the Supreme court.I am a school psychologist that relies on school funding for our children in Iowa. I transferred to Iowa from Arizona because of the quality of education and support that the employees and children get here in Iowa. I worked in the public school system in Arizona for 26 years and much prefer the employment climate here in Iowa than Arizona due to better benefits and pay. I've never seen such a good relationship between administration and workers such as I have seen with the AEA agencies in Iowa. I do fear that the SF 213 and HF 291 (formerly HSB 84) bills will decrease communication and awareness of the federal and state authorities of the needs of our workers in the education field. If these or similar bills are made into law, I just cannot continue to encourage family members or friends to become or continue to gain more skills as teachers or psychologists due to the decline in income and insurance benefits. Instead, I will have encourage them to look into other jobs that offer better opportunities or potential, especially since they now will have consider paying to have their kids educated at private or charter schools.Please reconsider and allow educators the freedom to have their voices heard and strive for communication that maintains or better the educational standards that we have now.Best Regards,Daniel BroekLongtime Republican/Christian voter
02-11-2017
Vicky Anderson [Education ]
CON
Dear Senators and House Representatives,I implore you to vote NO to mutilating our collective bargaining system. I've been a public servant for 34 years. Teachers, firemen, police officers work harder now than they ever have. In this world of uncertainty, please continue to support and trust these individuals! We need collective bargaining as a tool to protect our rights and jobs. I would be honored if any of you would be my guest at Ankeny Southeast or Terrace Elementary Schools where I work. You will not find more dedicated, hard working individuals anywhere. PLEASE SUPPORT US!!Sincerely,Vicky Anderson
02-11-2017
Ann Streufert [Educator]
CON
I am against the passing of this bill. Taking away collective bargaining rights will only harm Iowa and it's economy. Working in the field of education in Iowa will be less desirable and educators will seek jobs elsewhere. Do what is best for families and children and do not support this bill.
02-11-2017
Mary Beth Kunau []
CON
Dear members of our Elected Iowa Government.I am a teacher in the Pleasant Valley School District. I have seen many changes in education in the 30 plus years I have been in the field. One of the most significant changes that I have seen is the teachers and administrators working together to create a positive working relationship for the staff in our schools supported by our teachers union. The union and our public schools share common goals and want to work together to provide the best value for our districts. Public school teachers are excellent problem solvers. We solve problems every day and willingly sit down with our Districts to come up with a yearly plan that meets everyones needs. It seems strange that this positive relationship is going to be dissolved after all these forwardthinking years of working together. Consider the effects of eliminating collective bargaining. In Wisconsin, because of this action there are teacher shortages because teachers choose not to work in a place where they cannot have a say as to their schedules, insurance options or even could be fired at any time without due process. That is not a positive environment it is a job not a career.Please vote no on the proposal to eliminate collective bargaining. Iowa has schools we can be extremely proud of, lets keep it that way.Mary Beth Kunau
02-11-2017
Sheri Crandall []
CON
I oppose this bill. I am all for making everything work for everyone, so let's find a solution that works for everyone. If it works to put a cap on collective bargaining so that we can't get a bigger percentage raise than the government gives our district, then let's do that, but let's not gut the entire thing and take away rights from those of us that have served the public for decades.
02-11-2017
Blake Hammond [Des Moines Public Schools teacher]
CON
The current version of HF 291 should be opposed. As an employee who has served on bargaining teams for the Des Moines Public Schools and serving as the Des Moines Public School's Health Benefits Advisory Chairperson, I believe health insurance needs to remain as a mandatory item of bargaining. The best solutions for cost saving with health insurance, increasing employee awareness of health care benefits, and costs comes from both labor and management getting together to solve the issues through bargaining. If management makes all decisions because insurance is not permitted in bargaining then I believe we will end up seeing insurance costs escalate higher than current. This will cost us more than is the purpose of this House Bill. Please amend and make benefits mandatory or permissive.
02-11-2017
Rebecc Bradish []
CON
I am speaking as a tax paying citizen of Iowa. I encourage you to break ranks from the grand ol party and the Governor's wish list of dismantling bargaining rights for all public workers. Vote NO on the chapter 20 legislation that will do nothing but hurt Iowans at every level. You were not elected to do this. You did NOT campaign on this topic at all (for good reason you KNOW Iowans and voters do NOT support this). You did say, however, you care about Iowa and all Iowans this is not caring. This is tearing apart the very fabric of what our state stand for Maintaining Our Rights. I strongly urge you ALL to not vote for the chapter 20 collective bargaining legislation. Thanks you.
02-11-2017
Connie Smits [Westwood Community School Sloan Iowa]
CON
I am writing to share my opposition to the collective bargaining bill that would affect Iowa teachers, nurses, firefighters and many other crucial public positions. We need to keep this Right, in place for our people.
02-11-2017
Anonymous [Dubuque community schools]
CON
As an educator of 13 years, I have already seen several different changes in the education world. I have taught in an at risk school for half of my career and at a middle of the road to higher performing schoil for the other.Each year, more and more of my role and expectations become more daunting with paper work, testing, and all to be done with less resources. I value my vocation as a teacher. My students need not only the academic training but have gradually craved character education and basic social skills. As more is expected of us, we work with less resources in our schools and are making less with our salaries because of not getting raises in almost a decade, insurance packages dwindling, and the cost of living continuing to grow eachieve year. I am a union member. I value that we have a voice in negotiations. I value having a union to keep districts from favoring some teachers over others. I value having the union's support of I was wrongfully challenged by parents in the court of law.If you take away our bargaining rights, you continue to send the message that we are no longer a valued profession. The public and media already have us under a microscope as it is and are constantly bashing our public education system. Already, maintaining teachers in the profession is problematic. This will continue to crumble the hope that many of your dedicated teachers have in the future of public education. Years ago, our ancestors faught for everyone to have the right to a good public education. I hope that you will also keep their goals in mind. We need our right to be in a union for strength. We deserve to be a respected profession, rather than 2nd class citizens. Please consider how much YOU value our future of Iowa and our public education across the state. It needs to be strengthened. Otherwise many of us will be left with needing to change our careers. That will leave you with unseasonably teacheese and as the data proves, will escalate the crumble of public education.Thank you for your time. I will be sure to reflect on your decision making when the next election rolls around.Sincerely,Megan Murphy
02-11-2017
Kathy Courtney [Retired Teacher]
CON
It has taken us 40 years to get where we are with collective bargaining. It has worked all these years successfully. Collective Bargaining is a fair way for both sides to negotiate to get what they want. It works. Leave it alone.
02-11-2017
Teri Imerman [Gilbert CSD]
CON
I support collective bargaining. What problem is this change addressing? I still have not heard how these proposed changes in the law will help. Protect worker rights!
02-11-2017
Steve Pratt []
CON
Public service employees deserve the benefits that some tax dollars will support. After all, they are PUBLIC servants, not private enterprise employees. To have highly skilled workers in these positions is very important. Iowa is not high on the national scale of wages for public service and other union employees. Losing the ability to negotiate for wages and other benefits that will provide balance for attracting skilled workers will ensure the "brain drain" that Iowa lamented years ago. A civilized, visionary legislature will not dismantle the ability to negotiatewhat's negative about that? benefits, wages, and incentives for its workers. There HAS NOT been a mandate from voters for you to "correct" this democratic procedure. Do not misrepresent us!!!!
02-11-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I oppose HF 291 and would encourage you to vote NO to this bill. As a teacher for 20 years, we have made a lot of sacrifices to gain the ground we have through the collective bargaining process. We have repeatedly asked for smaller pay raises to keep our health insurance the same. We have a great school district, but this will fall apart if teachers feel they don't have a say in what benefits we receive. Those in public service do work above and beyond the hours contracted. I work many hours at night and weekends to make sure my students get the best education they can. If HF 291 passes, morale will decrease and many will leave the field. Our students will be the ultimate ones to suffer. If you want strong students, you need to support public workers and give them the benefit of bargaining for benefits and working environment. We do not get everything we want; we compromise and try to leave both sides feeling satisfied. Please vote No to HF 291.
02-11-2017
Denise Jago [Retired Corrections Employee ]
CON
I wish to speak at this meeting
02-11-2017
Grant Elsbernd []
CON
My first question relates to the part of the bill involving merit pay for exceptional educators. How will districts decide which educators deserve merit? Will it be based on standardized test scores? Will it be based on parent feedback? Or will it be based on who the school board or administration thinks deserves it just because they like that teacher, or their child likes that teacher? I am a Masters degree (as is required) holding school counselor at Clear Creek Amana and I wonder how I fit into the equation. Am I not eligible since my work doesn't directly fall into a test score? How about an Industrial Tech teacher, or an FCS teacher? You also mention that this bill will help schools fill critical needs, especially in rural areas. I wonder why you believe this is the case. Republicans have been underfunding schools for a few years now, including this coming year. Which is leading to large budget problems, especially in rural districts with fewer students. Across Iowa class sizes are growing due to schools being unable to hire new teachers. In addition to large class sizes, these new teachers will most likely be signing up for a job with minimal benefits as school districts across Iowa will look to cut budgets. That doesn't look like a very attractive option to me. Especially knowing that in my first couple of years my contract could be terminated without cause. I don't know any teachers who are making a king's ransom from what they do. Educators are highly trained professionals who do an incredibly important job, we have a right to a livable wage and benefits. We deserve better than this bill, don't steal our seat at the table.
02-11-2017
Anonymous [Educator]
CON
Please consider what's best for Iowa's students. Many bright young educators are already fleeing our state. Don't make it worse by stripping teachers of their voice. Let teachers come to the table regarding their employment & protection from the public.
02-11-2017
Anonymous []
CON
This Bill does nothing to promote the interests of Iowans. This is a Union Busting Bill that is right out of the Koch Brothers playbook.Don't let this Bill pass. School districts don't want it, Cities don't want it, Counties don't want it, just a handful of power hungry politicians.
02-11-2017
sonya libe [State Employee]
CON
I have worked 22 years as State Employee. I have worked with the Department of Human Services and The Department of Corrections. I work currently as a Correctional Counselor. We have bargained in good faith and have provided safety for the state tax payer. It is a slap in the face of Corrections officers and all staff that you present alternative facts to the public. I work around offenders that have been convicted for some of the most horrendous crimes in Iowa. We don't wear a vest or carry a gun but that does not mean we are less a public servant at high Risk of harm. I implore you to reconsider your intentional harm to the working families providing public service. I am with all public servants when I say that the Your Claim to S AVE Iowa Tax Payer money$$$$, will in fact make us less Safe. The state has received the most dedicated Iowan workers who make a middle class income and the Republican party has attacked us for that. None of you ran with this agenda. This is sneaky and down right mean hearted. Not what the Iowa tax payer's or VOTERS wanted. We were duped and YOU DO NOT care about the middle class in this STATE. By the way pay back what your received for Medical Insurance last year. Your all Criminals.
02-11-2017
Julie King []
CON
I strongly oppose this legislation. I believe it contains many components detrimental to the acquisition and maintenance of quality public employees in vital positions. The individuals that will be adversely affected by the bill are the children we educate, the public we protect and serve. The bill contents are based on the ideas and interests of private interests and did not include the voices of individuals in the fields affected neither employee nor administration. I was once proud to be a citizen of this state but the actions of our state legislature on this bill leave me ashamed of the values we are presenting to the country.
02-11-2017
Marilyn Gibbons [retired Iowa teacher in Ames Schools]
CON
Having taught in Iowa schools for 25 years, I personally experienced the benefits of having the present collective bargaining law in place. I've never felt teachers were unreasonable in working with negotiations. It worked well for all parties involved and kept an ongoing relationship between the district and staff. I have witnessed school boards feeling teachers deserve very little salary increase and only work '9 months out of the year'. How unfortunate for those who truly believe this. Unfortunately, school districts pay salaries out of their general fund money and it is difficult for them to give it out largely in salaries. If collective bargaining is altered as proposed, we will lose teachers who are able to relocate; recruiting teachers will be difficult; businesses will be hard pressed to find quality employees. Gov. Branstad and the Republican legislature refuses to recognize that teachers have a right to decide how they want their salary, and if it means putting the money into health insurance or benefits, rather than salary or vice versa, so be it!Republicans need to rethink how their voting constituents will respond when this new bill affects them personally and the state they say they support and love.
02-11-2017
Anonymous [ISEA ]
CON
This bill is not good for the state of Iowa or the future of this state.
02-11-2017
Anonymous []
CON
Severely limiting teacher's voices at the bargaining table is not the way to improve Iowa schools. Not only does it hurt teachers, but in states that have adopted similar legislation, student achievement goes down as well. This is not the way to attain and keep quality teachers. This hurts education in our state.
02-11-2017
Jami Elliott [West Burlington ]
CON
I have been proud to teach for the last 13 years in the same elementary school I attended, my parents attended and my children are attending. I have gained my education in Iowa my associates, bachelor, and most recently my masters degree so that I could continue my education to help my students. That pride has been tarnished lately and as a single mother feel now I'm rolling the dice with my livelihood as I continue teaching here in the state of Iowa.
02-11-2017
Laura VanWaardhuizen []
CON
I am unable to attend, because I have contracted duties for parentteacher conferences at my school.I think that the bill, as proposed, will gut education in the state of Iowa. I think we need more time to carefully consider before such dramatic and sweeping changes are made. Changes to Chapter 20 still need to retain spirit of the original bill to "promote harmonious and cooperative relationships between government and its employees." As it is presented, there is no balance, the state retains all power and its employees are left with no recourse should this power be abused. Either rebalance some of that power by taking things out of the list of items that nonsafety work unions are prohibited from negotiating on or repeal Chapter 20 entirely.
02-12-2017
Anonymous
CON
Propose an amendment to the bill that requires that executive branch employees can only be fired with just cause. Reject the current amendment to 20.7(3) which removes "for proper cause."Employees can still be fired but in the same manner as in the private sector; which is for cause. This seemingly small change will increase the number of great employees that will stay with the state and increase the number of applicants for nrew positions. Also, allow state employees to negotiate for tune off of work; vacation and sick leave and flexible schedules.
02-12-2017
Britney Bowen MSN RN CNL [SEIU local 199]
CON
As a nurse in a neonatal intensive care unit, I am very concerned about the content of this bill. We are currently struggling to recruit and retain staff at our hospital. I fear eliminating the staffs' voices from the bargaining process and allowing employees to be let go without proper cause, will make staffing at our hospital impossible. And above all, I should not have to fear losing my job anytime I feel it necessary to advocate for my patients. These proposed changes to chapter 20 do not seem to be in the best interest for Iowa families, workers, or taxpayers. Please, keep chapter 20, a bipartisan law that has been working well for Iowa for the last 40 years, intact. Thank you.
02-12-2017
Julie Duff []
CON
I have been an Iowa teacher and a Union member for 38 years, and I feel my profession is now under attack in Iowa. Who stands to benefit if teachers can't negotiate for anything besides their wages? Will our state really be better off, or will the bill harm the economy since public employees contribute greatly to their communities and to the state? If it's important for public safety employees to retain their rights to bargain, then it's also important for other public employees to have those same rights. I'm concerned that the passage of this bill will lead to increasing teacher shortages, particularly in our rural districts, as new teaching candidates will be attracted to states with more favorable teaching conditions. Please show your support for Iowa's public employees and for education by not supporting this bill.
02-12-2017
Anonymous [Iowa State Education Association]
CON
Earlier this year, one of my students was refusing to apply for college. After asking her about it, she told me that she thought she'd never get accepted. She felt totally deflated. So I told her my perspective including all the promise that I see in her. Later that week, she proudly applied to college with me cheering her on. And, yes, she got in! Her family was a bit surprised. I wasn't. And she's really excited about next year. Catapulting students into the future is just one of many services that teachers offer. Not because we get paid to do it, but because it's the right thing to do. We're worth the investment because Iowa's students are worth the investment. Vote no on this bill. Collective bargaining is an important way to support the teachers that support Iowa's students.
02-12-2017
Anonymous [Iowa Workforce Development ]
CON
I implore you to NOT pass this bill in it's present form! This legislation will Hurt Iowa and devastate the 180,00 Public workers it's aimed at. I work hard to serve my fellow Iowans and support my family and do not want to lose all my current rights as a public worker. The potential loss in my bring home pay could be devastating to my family and may force me to look for employment elsewhere. I do not understand why the Majority wants to rush this and not put their constituents first. We won't forget the votes on this and Pro voters won't be reelected! I have a coworker who was a Wisconsin State worker and she had to move her family here due to the harm the Wisconsin bill caused families and the State! And, Kentucky workers are now going through the same devastation. Please don't add Iowa to that list!!
02-12-2017
Nick Scott [AFSCME 61 ]
CON
I strongly oppose bill HF 291.This bill is not about making our state a better place to live and work for Iowans. In fact, it will have the opposite affect.This bill is nothing more than a personal vendetta against the public workers of Iowa by a Republican Governor being carried out by the Republican Legislators.
02-12-2017
Nancy Folluo []
CON
I am against this bill because it is totally one sided. It holds everything fair about collective bargaining hostage and tips the scale 99% to the management side. This bill is so blatantly antiunion and is meant to break the unions and nothing more. I am not evil because I am a union member. I am not asking for anything to be given to me because I am a union member. I don't like being made to feel like I am an user and an abuser of the system because I am a union member. I am part of a collective bargaining unit and believe in the system where both sides have a say in the contract that we ultimately sign. You need to keep out of this process. We dont need Big Brother, involved. This takes away local control!I work hard for everything I have. I work hard everyday to be worthy of what I have earned.If this is truly a money issue, why arent you tapping into money the state is sitting on?If this is truly a money issue, then you should pay your fair share of your health coverage. That alone would put roughly $350,000 a year into the state coffers. If you are going to talkthe talk, then you can personally walkthewalk and pay up.If this isnt an antiunion bill, then come up with another way to save money that doesnt feel like a personal attack on hard working union people. Otherwise that is exactly what it is!You are not representing the people if you pass this bill. You are representing big brother and are lockstepping to the beat of your party line.Sincerely,Nancy Folluo
02-12-2017
Michelle Dalton [Linn- Mar]
CON
As a veteran teacher I have had the opportunity to teach children who have transferred to LinnMar from all over the nation. As I meet with families there is a common theme, parents say, "I am so glad our family landed in Iowa, we notice such a big difference in the quality of schools here." Chapter 20 has supported our state's teachers basic financial rights which has attracted and kept the best of the best in our state. Look to Wisconsin, for an example of what has happened to their school systems after the union was abolished. I have great concern for the youth in our state if our legislators and governor vote to travel the same road. There is much more on the line than educators salary or "summers off"... no one teaches for these "perks." The bottomline is schools and teachers are asked to do more every year with minuet increases in funding. Even with chapter 20 teaching is challenging... teachers put in longer hours each year, assess students more as mandated, enter more data to the state, add layer after layer of additional curriculum to their already packed lesson plans and also take extra time to nurture children who have had to grow up way too soon. We do this because we are passionate about education, we can pour our hearts and souls into our careers and focus on the job at hand because chapter 20 and our unions worry about "the other stuff" for us. We are trusted with Iowa's most precious resources, its children. Please preserve chapter 20 to protect the reputation and quality of public education in our state.
02-12-2017
Wanda Hardwick []
CON
Do the right thing for state employees, who serve the public
02-12-2017
Sarah Garvin [Indivisible HD91/SD46]
CON
While this bill was touted as a "thoughtful review" of Chapter 20, they were not crafted with input from anyone other than the sponsors. We believe a thoughtful review would represent a joint, bipartisan effort between lawmakers, union representatives, and public sector employees, if not an independent commission to determine where inequities and cost inefficiencies exist in the current system. As it stands, this reform bill seems to be yet another solution in search of a problem that lacks supporting data and clear answers to the questions posed by the constituents present in Des Moines this past week. The potential for negative impacts from this bill becoming law is enormous. Wisconsin, Kansas, and Arizona already serve as examples of how weakening collective bargaining rights for public sector employees has serious impacts on quality of education and quality of life in those states. It is our unequivocal opinion that HF 291 deserves a NO vote.
Attachment
02-12-2017
Julie Bulver []
CON
Please don't make teaching any harder. I do not want my teaching job to be at the mercy of administration. I want all teachers to have good benefits and rights and someone to defend them. Collective bargaining has worked for decades. First, you fund schools with less money than the governor suggested and now you take teachers' rights away. I thought Iowa valued education!Vote NO to this bill.
02-12-2017
Krista Burton [Ottumwa Education Association]
CON
Please think about the hard working public servants of this state, vote NO! It's not about money for myself as a public educatorit's about having a voice at the table.
02-12-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I am writing to ask you to vote down the champion bill. The champion bill is nothing more than a regression of almost 50 years of progress. The bill more than just limiting public employees health care, it strips workers rights away and it will eliminate what little middle class we have left. This bill was written by a small committee, in private and is now being rushed through to get passed, that alone should be cause to vote it down. Talking away and or limiting workers wright is not what the great forefathers who founded this country believed in and I hope you don't either.So I am asking for you to please vote NO on the champion bill.Thank you,Ben
02-12-2017
Brandon Pflanzer [Iowa City Association of Professional Firefighters]
CON
To my Iowa Legislators My name is Brandon Pflanzer and I am President of Iowa City Assoc. of Professional Firefighters representing 58 members.I am writing to you in opposition to collective bargaining reform and am urging you please vote No on HSB84. Not only is it addressing a problem that isn't there but it puts public safety in to jeopardy.While I am appreciative of public safety being able to continue to bargain for many of the same topics, the bill goes on to affect myself and my members in other negative aspects.The bill eliminates the opportunity for my union and I to work together on collecting union dues and other funds that help us support those that support us. To my knowledge there has never been an issue with this and it seems that it would cost more money in man power to remove what is already in place than what it saves.Most importantly the bill will severely put out of balance how my boss can treat me and my members. If I raise a question to my chief on the tactics used on a scene or the serviceability of equipment utilized to keep the public safe, an they do not like it they have the ability to fire me. That is plain wrong and puts the public at risk!If I feel I am fired unfairly this bill denies my ability to appeal beyond the civil service commission. As a private employee I would be able to appeal to the district courts, HSB84 blocks this ability for me and punishes me because I am a public employee. How is that even legal?This bill also requires us to recertify our union before each and every collective bargaining session begins. If I don't trust my union or you don't want to belong to an organization anymore, we can leave the organization. This is another solution hunting for a problem.HSB 84, the collective bargaining and civil service bill, severely unbalances the relationship I have with my Fire Chief and my city. It creates many more problems than it solves that could result in a very hostile work environment. Is that the kind of work environment you want at your local firehouse? We all have to work together to save people's lives and keep ourselves safe when fighting life threatening fires. I urge you to vote no.
02-12-2017
Michelle Mullins []
CON
I am strongly opposed to the collective bargaining bill. As a public school educator, I can say that being a teacher is wonderful and challenging work. I choose to make a modest living to do this work, and this bill directly targets all hard working educators who serve the public, and devalues the work that we do.
02-12-2017
Anonymous []
CON
To my Iowa Legislators My name is Ashley Pflanzer and I am the wife of a firefighter in Eastern Iowa.I am writing to you in opposition to collective bargaining reform and am urging you please vote No on HF291. Not only is it addressing a problem that isn't there but it puts my husband's life, many of our friend's lives and public safety into jeopardy.While I am appreciative of public safety being able to continue to bargain for many of the same topics as before, the bill goes on to affect my husband and my family in other negative aspects.Most importantly the bill will severely put out of balance how a boss can treat my husband in the firehouse. If he raises a question to the chief on the tactics used on a scene or the serviceability of equipment utilized to keep the public safe, and they do not like it, they have the ability to fire him. That is plain wrong and puts the public at risk!As a private sector employee, if I feel I am fired unfairly I have the ability to appeal the decision to a district court. HF291 denies my husband the ability to appeal beyond the civil service commission and blocks this ability for him and punishes all public employees for simply working in public service. How is that even legal?This bill also requires him to recertify his union before each and every collective bargaining session begins. If he didn't trust the union or didn't want to belong to an organization anymore, he can leave the organization. This is another solution to a problem that doesn't exist.HF291, the collective bargaining and civil service bill, severely unbalances the relationship my husband has with his Fire Chief, the city he works for and the community our family lives in. It creates many more problems than it solves that could result in a very hostile work environment. Is that the kind of work environment you want at your local firehouse when their main priority is to keep people safe? I urge you to vote no.
02-12-2017
Teresa Harrington [Pleasant Valley Education Association]
CON
I am a public school teacher in Iowa. I moved over to Iowa schools because I wanted to work with the best educators and for one of the top states for education. It is disappointing to think that this one bill could change the state's education system for the worse, and that you are willing to follow through with it, with no regard to the impact it will have on our students. Passing this bill will set Iowa public education back 40 years. In order to make the progress that has been made over the last few decades, it took a joint effort of districts working with teachers' associations. When the Teacher Leadership and Compensation plan was announced, I remember how proud the Republican governor was to be a part of that program. It involved working together with teachers' associations. Iowa's successes lead the way for other states. Educating our children depends on working together with educators and not philosophical dictates that we have seen from other states that don't work. Please look at states, such as Wisconsin, that have tried similar bills and have failed their students. A few years ago, the state of Iowa was looking to do whatever it took to get the best and the brightest teachers for our students. If this bill passes, they won't have the opportunity to choose from the best and the brightest, because the best and the brightest won't want to come here.Please, remember that the teachers of Iowa are working hard to educate all of our students. We want to work together, as in the past, to make Iowa the best state to educate children. Don't lose the momentum that has made the Iowa education system stronger than ever. Vote no on this bill.
02-12-2017
Anonymous [afscme local 2659]
CON
vote no this bill is a slap in the face of all public employees who work for their moneyI am strongly against this bill.
02-12-2017
Sonya Libe [Department of Human Services/Department of Corrections]
CON
I have been both a Social Worker for 11 years and a Correctional Counselor for 11 years for the state of Iowa. When I first started working with the Victims of Sexual Abuse with DHS there were few therapist that worked with victims of these crimes. I went on to get my Masters and was compelled to work with Sex Offender in the correctional system. Programs were developed in this state by public servants due to the outrage over sensationalized crimes in this state. The call to publics service is personal to many who work for the tax payers in this state. Currently working directly with these populations who will return to a community near you is stressful and often dangerous, I resent that you "as a committee" did no consultation or study with us prior to the introduction of this Bill. Its a slap in the face to officers, therapist, psychologist, teachers, social worker, EMT, correctional counselors and the list goes on.... I implore you to reconsider and slow down this Rush to tear apart something that is not broken. We owe the state tax payers and public employees who also pay TAXES in the state an experimental study that validates your claims in an unbiased manner. Thank you for your consideration in this very important decision
02-12-2017
NATHAN OSBON [AFSCME]
CON
This is my letter I sent to all 88 of our Iowa Republican Legislatures today!!!Good MorningThank you for taking the time to read my letter, I live in Ft.Madison Iowa and have been employed with the Iowa State Penitentiary for 15 yrs, and I am an Iowa taxpayer. I am greatly concerned, like thousands of other state employees about the changes you are in favor of, such as gutting Chapter 20 for 180,000 State of Iowa employees. I voted for change but, not this type of negative change. I am opposed to the gutting of Chapter 20. This proposal hurts the hardworking teachers, firefighters, police and correctional officers and all State, County and City government in this state. Employers from across the state of Iowa will see a huge widespread decline in keeping employees. This will have long lasting effects and not for the better.Please reconsider and vote no to the change and repeal of Chapter 20. We as taxpayers did not vote in November for this. This will effect businesses, charities, schools, real estate, city and county taxes the list goes on and on. Please reconsider your vote.If you choose not to, then please change the wording "Our Rights We Will Maintain" on the Iowa flag, because, "Our Rights Are NOT Being Maintained". Also, before I close out my letter to you, this may have been brought up already but, "Why are Correctional Officers/Correctional Staff being told that we are no longer considered "Law Enforcement" because, our lives are NOT IN ANY DANGER!?" We are still protected under the Peace Officer Bill Of Rights. Thank you Sincerely,Nathan Osbon Ft. Madison Iowa Taxpayer
02-12-2017
Patti McKee [Iowa Citizen]
CON
As an Iowa taxpayer I want Iowa's public employees to be well compensated and to have their say in decisions concerning benefits and employment practices. I urge you to discontinue your gutting of collective bargaining in Iowa.As a state we should be protecting workers' rights, public and private. We should be encouraging unions and involvement in them rather than destroying them. We should raise the minimum wage to a living wage, not preempting it on the local level.When employees are well compensated, they are more productive. They also have more money to spend in the local economy.
02-12-2017
Brenda Krull [College Community Education Association]
CON
Isn't it interesting that Iowa legislators think they need to pass laws to inhibit public employee unions? What other industry gets to pass laws in order to do this?! They have to negotiate with their workers! It's a disgrace to our elected officials to go after worker rights when there are so many other needs in our state! Really! We really wanted to be able to terminate employees without proper cause?! How do dues deductions cost tax payers money?! I guess every industry should also not be allowed to have dues deducted from their checks!
02-12-2017
Barbara Van Rheenen [self]
CON
Thank you Senator Boulton or eloquently stating the needs of public employees. I have taught in Illinois, Wisconsin, California and now in Iowa. When Darl and I were considering moving back to the Midwest from CA, we looked at places that had a strong school system for me to work in. We looked at salaries and collective bargaining rights. We liked that Iowa had both of these and that I could earn a living wage. We liked that other public employees such as police, probation officers, fire fighters were protected. We knew Iowa didn't rank very high in salaries compared to other states, but I took a huge pay cut anyway due to the knowledge I would have collective bargaining rights ensuring me a living wage and benefits should something happen to Darl.There is a misconception the private sector has about our benefits. I cannot speak for all public employees, but for teachers we fight for those benefits because we make less, are required to further our education at our own expense in order to keep our licenses active, and use our own money to buy supplies/materials to do our jobs. What other jobs make you pay to work? We do it because we have a passion for teaching your children.Please take the time to listen to what Senator Boulton has stated and let your representatives know you support public employees. We need to make public jobs in Iowa desirable professions.
02-12-2017
Rachel Tegeler [Des Moines Public Schools Education Association]
CON
Please reconsider the provisions of this bill. We have prided ourselves in the state of Iowa as top notch educators. Funding is not occurring and this law basically gets rid of the Union. How are our rural communities going to maintain teachers? Iowa already makes being an educator very difficult and I have relatives who teach in other states who will not move back here because Iowa teacher pay is so low already and the requirements to be a teacher are so stringent. You are risking the education of our children.
02-12-2017
Anonymous [Pleasant Valley School]
CON
I am a teacher. I provide a service, but my service does not create a product. My service helps develop a person; a human being; the mind, heart, character and more of an individual. I am good at my job and I am proud to do it every day. I am who I am because of the good people who were willing to work WITH me, to see me as a whole person versus a test score, to help me become a better student and eventually a better teacher. I am a good teacher striving to be better everyday because I am able to work collaboratively with others in the SERVICE of education. We are not in a business and do not look at our students as products or our fellow educators as competitors. Please do not approve a bill that will create a business atmosphere in a place that should never be thought of as a business. We as teachers deserve more and, most importantly, our students deserve more.
02-12-2017
Rita Vargas [Citizen]
CON
These are dedicated public employees who have earned all the benefit they have negotiated over the years. These is nothing more than union busting legislation
02-12-2017
Mary Schiefen [WSEA]
CON
This bill is not supporting the future of public employees.
02-12-2017
Greg Householder [AFSCME 1868 Council 61]
CON
I would like to speak to my representatives. Hello my name is Greg Householder i live at 3013 sw Glenbrooke Blvd I am a member of Iowa counsel 61 local 1868 I live and work in ankeny I have work for public works for over 23 years I knew that working for Public Works and being a union member would provide me with a solid stable future that I and my family could count on. working for the City Of Ankeny public works I feel like I'm building a community increasing the quality of life and making it safer to live here. I am serving in the job and in the community that I love, I operate many pieces of large construction equipment on the roadways and off the roadways, equipment like Street sweepers loaders dump trucks snowplow trucks and the many attachments that are required to do our jobs, my job is dangerous every time I step out of the cab of a vehicle or climb down from the loader in a lane of traffic or when I'm working in a work zone With cars, distracted drivers and semi trucks speeding by just inches away from me. every day while I'm getting my job done I often wonder if this is the last day, am I'm going to get hit and killed today, is this going to be the day. My life for the most part is in the hands of the drivers around me. I know many people a year loose their life working on the roadways and in work zones. In the wintertime I am operating a snowplow truck, it is a multi tasking nightmare your attention is everywhere on everything and for extended amounts of time you must contend with every type of situation and fight a storm that lasts for hours, heavy traffic and inexperienced drivers all around you while maintaining the roadway systems and making it safer for our residents to get to work safely to do their jobs or travel or come home safely from their jobs, it is mentally and physically draining and usually requires several days afterwords to recuperate. I think if more people understood the dangers and responsibilities that I face on a daily basis most would be afraid to do this job or at least I would hope they would have a lot more respect for the job I do. i've seen a lot of people try to do different aspects of my job and for some it is impossible. some people just aren't cut out to do it and hold a CDL license, some people just cannot mentally multitask enough to operate heavy equipment in traffic or in a work zone I've seen many drivers just give up , it is a very demanding job that requires high levels of skill and high levels of training. It also takes a lot of trust in the people that you're working around because every single person that you're working with is not only responsible for their own safety and life but at times They can be responsible for your safety and your life, I will say it is a dangerous Job. you could be doused with boiling hot hydraulic oil one minute or have a part of your body crushed by several tons of steel the next Minute you could be electrocuted or severely burned , you could be blinded or you could experience a chemical spill or you could get ran over and crushed there are so many ways to get hurt, it takes a special person who is cut out to do this type of job. over the years working here in public works I've seen a lot of people who thought they had the right stuff and thought they could do this job and I've seen a lot of them leave and go, we've had some turnover, and will continue to do so, it's not an easy job. . I also design and create signs, I use sign CAD software to produce signs I use a plotter to cut out vinyl and I use Computer programs and arc gis to inventory and map real time sign data and locations for maps that are published out to our websites I study and know the proper installation of roadway signs according to the MUTCD , that is a manual on uniform traffic control devices. I have trained people to help me do this job and it typically takes about five years to train someone to do sign work. I am also a signal technician who will regularly perform maintenance on our signal lights at intersections I am also a driver training engineer and I specialize in training drivers to drive over the road big rigs and vehicles that require airbrakes, not everybody can or is able to safely operate these large vehicles. I am also required to pass Random issued drug tests to do my job. I'm also required to work long extended periods of time in adverse weather conditions and storms of all types so while everyone else in our community is sheltering undercover I'm the person that's out in the storm in the rain who's clearing trees off the roadways with chain saws and loaders only to come back and operate a wood chipper to clear debris off the roadways and right of ways. im also the guy that's putting up barricades over flooded roads and bridges and I can even make time to rescue some ducks out of the storm drain or help the police department and our postmaster general to recover stolen mail. I'm the guy thats out in 10 degree winter weather in 20 to 30 mph winds replacing broken stop signs or installing new signs in a new plat development. Working for the City Of Ankeny means you will repair fix or replace everything above ground and a few things below ground it means you will also respond in times of disasters. So I'm responding now to this disaster I'm asking you to please support the men and women in our labor unions and to vote no on HF 291 and senate file 213 I feel like this is a personal attack on the working men and Woman of Iowa I feel it's a mean spirited bill That doesn't seek solutions with minimum impact I feel disrespected and unappreciated I feel like a future here no longer exists for me and will be stolen away.I feel like the 23 years of my life spent working for the city of Ankeny and preparing for the future is now over. every Iowa worker affected by this knows they do not have a future here in Iowa. I will probably have to sell my house and sell my car and file for bankruptcy I will move away to another state that offers me opportunity like the one I will lose if you support this meanspirited bill which is aimed at destroying my life my future my career and my labor union. I voted for each and every one of you in the elections that is here today because I believed in you, I no longer believe in you and I no longer feel that you are supporting Iowa workers. I will campaign and vote my conscience in the future. So I've got to ask you this question what do we have to gain and what do we have to lose, what does Iowa have to gain from busting up labor unions and destroying lives along the way. So you want us to go back to a dysfunctional system of labor working for dysfunctional supervisors and managers management now there's a miss used word here's what I've learned from some supervisors and managers is while they can give us employee handbooks with policies in it which they don't read them selves and understand or follow they will break these policies as they seem fit. And every time it's not to benefit a employee supervisors and managers dont read our union contracts they don't understand them and don't follow them. I as an employee refer to my employee handbook and our union contract at least 3 times a week and I feel that my managers and supervisors should already know this stuff, but I am there and others are there to educate them and to show them the way. What I have learned supervisors and management will continually break the rules as they seem fit they will invent their own disciplinary steps and measures so we must keep chapter 20 in place to keep dysfunctional supervisors and management from becoming tyrants. Iowa workers lives are about to be destroyed by removing chapter 20 we have learned this in the past and we created chapter 20. but overtime our lawmakers have forgotten what we went through they forgotten the outcry for it they have forgotten what happened to employees and dysfunctional managers and supervisors they forgot why chapter 20 finally become a law there was a thousand reasons for creating chapter 20 those reasons haven't gone away they still exist today the reasons are even greater for having chapter 20 today. we should keep chapter 20 just the way it is. And I ask you to please support our labor unions in the great state of Iowa and vote against HF 291 and SF213
02-12-2017
Mark Digmann []
CON
I oppose this bill for several reasons. The bill is to allow more local control. As cochief negotiator I can say that in our situation at Western Dubuque, we have a good and respectful relationship with our administration. We work together on all sorts of issues not just salaries and come to a mutual understanding when we bargain. In our situation, collective bargaining works here at the local level. Why is the legislature determined to fix something that isn't broken? Why are government bodies still able to collectively bargain and we are not? If it's good for teachers and fire fighters and others named in this bill, why is it not good enough for the government employees? Another aspect of the bill wants to take away negotiation of due process. Anyone could be suspended or let go without due process. Even criminals are innocent until proven guilty and they get their day in court to determine what, if any, consequences there are for their actions. This would give the consequences first, and then give us our time to prove our innocence. I think this bill eliminates the voice of the teachers who are on the front lines in education. Students will feel an impact of this legislation, as I am not seeing how the proposed changes to Chapter 20 will attract good teachers to the profession or retain good teachers already in the profession. Finally, I think legislators always say that education is a priority. I don't disagree in the sense that I believe what they say is true. However, their actions, with the history in the last 10 years of SSA, having less money for education because of lowering taxes, and growing needs in other areas, such as clean water and infrastructure, show that education isn't their top priority. School districts and teachers have suffered enough with inadequate funding for the last several years. Don't make the suffering worse by taking away our right to bargain to make our work environment one in which the students of Iowa can get the first class education they deserve. It's time to take education back to the forefront as a true top priority. This bill is bad for teachers, bad for our districts, and bad for the students of Iowa.
02-12-2017
Anonymous [Pleasant Valley School District]
CON
I urge you to defeat SF213 and HF219. I feel you are attacking the very profession that I have given 37 years to. The collective bargaining process has worked for 40 years it works!Please vote no to both measures on Monday. Thankyou!
02-12-2017
Anonymous [Pleasant Valley Schools]
CON
This bill will set back education in Iowa 40 years. Progress made the last few decades have come through districts working hand in hand with teachers' associations. The recent Teacher Leadership and Compensation plan came about in this way. Our Republican governor takes great pride in that initiative but it would not have succeeded through topdown implementation. Going back to the 1980s, another plan to improve our schools our Republican governor participated in, Phase I, II, and III, came about through working with the teachers' associations.In addition to Iowa's successes, look at other states' failures. The impact on Wisconsin education as a result of such a similar bill has lasted for years, resulted in a teacher shortage in that state, and now has that governor suggesting over 1/2 billion dollars to try to recoup some of the losses to education since that state passed its bill.Please, look at evidence. Use rational reasoning and not philosophical dictates that don't work in our state. Vote no on this bill.
02-12-2017
Tracy Lux [Pleasant Valley High School ]
CON
This bill will set back education in Iowa 40 years. Progress made the last few decades have come through districts working hand in hand with teachers' associations. The recent Teacher Leadership and Compensation plan came about in this way. Our Republican governor takes great pride in that initiative but it would not have succeeded through topdown implementation. Going back to the 1980s, another plan to improve our schools our Republican governor participated in, Phase I, II, and III, came about through working with the teachers' associations.In addition to Iowa's successes, look at other states' failures. The impact on Wisconsin education as a result of such a similar bill has lasted for years, resulted in a teacher shortage in that state, and now has that governor suggesting over 1/2 billion dollars to try to recoup some of the losses to education since that state passed its bill.Please, look at evidence. Use rational reasoning and not philosophical dictates that don't work in our state. Vote no on this bill.
02-12-2017
Anonymous [Pleasant Valley School District]
CON
My name is Nicky Ovestake and I am a public school teacher of 37 years in the Pleasant Valley School district. I am against the Collective Bargaining bill and I urge you to vote this bill down. The bill completely removes educators voices the ones closest to the classroom from the decisions being made. Negotiations are not just about wages, they are about decisions made that affect our students. The bill eliminate any discussions about those decisions.
02-12-2017
Anonymous []
CON
Iowa is strong because of our strong workers. When our rights and abilities to speak openly about what can make us better are compromised it is not to be taken lightly. I am an elementary teacher and I CHOOSE to work in a rural district (West Liberty Community School District) because the benefits including pay, insurance and the districts' ability and willingness to work with teachers are a part of each year's contract negotiations. If such provisions were not available I would see employment for a job I love elsewhere, perhaps a more urban district that can offer a larger paycheck or move out of the state entirely. Why are we, in Iowa a place that prides itself on practical wisdom, "fixing" and altering something that WORKS for Iowa to make it better? HF 291 will have grave effects not only on the education sector, but all sectors who WORK FOR IOWA.
02-12-2017
Heidi Adamson-Manahl []
CON
I am very concerned about the future of Iowa if this proposal passes. I am not a state employee or a union member, however I am a lifetime resident of the state. This us the first time I feel embarrassed to be from Iowa. Our public employees are the people teaching our children. Taking care of the mentally ill and keeping us safe. We must stand behind these individuals. The state may save a small amount of money in the short term but we are putting the state in grave danger. We will destroy our educational system and lose our best and brightest employees. My children will not want to stay in the state when they graduate. This bill is a travesty. I am not proud to be from Iowa today.
02-12-2017
Jeff Sontag [Colfax-Mingo Commuiy Schools]
PRO
Teachers are stretched far too thin as it is and compensated far too little for what they do. I am tired of having to fight for what little I have while watching an unknowing ass dictate to me the way it should be. Students are suffering and will continue to suffer if this is the road that is chosen. Workers will suffer, our state will suffer. This is a very high price to pay for cost cutting stupidity.
02-12-2017
Michelle Hicks [Green Hills AEA]
CON
This bill is NOT about what is best for Iowa's workers! It is a blatant misuse of power by a Republican controlled house and senate!!! Listen to your CONSTITUENTS!! This is NOT what the people who elected you to office asked for or want! I am so disappointed in what are supposed democracy has become both at the national and state level!! It just makes me sick!!Michelle Hicks
02-12-2017
Anonymous [Council bluffs schools]
CON
You are destroying the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of hard working people. You will lose qualified and experienced employees effecting safety and education of Iowans. This is a huge mistake. Who do you think you are. Listen to what your citizens want not to your own awful agendas. WAKE UP. DO THE RIGHT THING.
02-12-2017
Jeff Sontag [Colfax-Mingo Commuiy Schools]
PRO
Teachers are stretched far too thin as it is and compensated far too little for what they do. I am tired of having to fight for what little I have while watching an unknowing ass dictate to me the way it should be. Students are suffering and will continue to suffer if this is the road that is chosen. Workers will suffer, our state will suffer. This is a very high price to pay for cost cutting stupidity.
02-12-2017
Kevin Burden [AFSCME 2989]
CON
This bill will be detrimental to all public employees both current and future. Our children's education is at risk for individuals' personal gain. To not consider correctional officers public safety is also absurd, protecting the public continues after our brothers in blue take the criminals off the streets, that where the corrections officer's job begins. All of the public employees attention is focused on Iowa'state legislation, for all the wrong reasons. We won't forget two years from now.
02-12-2017
Jason Dagel []
CON
This bill is based on a faulty premise: that collective bargaining is broken in the state of Iowa. The bill removes most of the powers given to bargaining units that, for more than forty years, have worked to provide appropriate and adequate working conditions for teachers while allowing local boards accountable to the public the ability to work for fiscal responsibility in compensation for those services. The bill is supported by people using questionable research methods (for example, not controlling for levels of education and experience when making comparisons in public and private sector pay). Please vote no on this misguided bill.
02-12-2017
Diana Crosswait []
CON
As the wife of city transit driver (25 years of service) and mother of a second year teacher in one of the lowest paying districts in the state, I am appalled and offended by the proposed changes to collective bargaining. Our public sector employees deserve protection and fair compensation and benefits. Destroying collective bargaining will destroy Iowa. Vote NO.
02-12-2017
Leslie Schwalm []
CON
I am deeply opposed to this bill because of the several threats it poses to the quality of public education in Iowa. As a lucky beneficiary of our nation's public system, and now a professor at the University of Iowa where I have had the great pleasure of training dozens of future educators, I know firsthand the sacrifices people make to become firstrate educators, and the kind of dedication that teachers in public education have to creating a welleducated citizenry. This bill, by threatening the collective bargaining rights of teachers, by threatening their core and humane benefits (like health care), will drive future Iowa teachers away from our schools. This bill, if passed, will also convey to Iowans that our state legislature does not care about our children's future. Shame on the Republicans for attacking our teachers and our students!
02-12-2017
Tonia Haskovec [ISEA]
CON
I am against the proposed bill. Currently, administration does have the ability to move teachers to new job assignments for which they are qualified. Administration can also intervene if they determine that a teacher is in need of assistance. Health insurance is often a reason for educators to be willing to take a lower salary. Statistically, Iowa teachers are not at the top of the list for yearly salaries. If health insurance does not meet the needs of an employee, they will be at will to move to another district. Students and staff need consistency to build a fluid system and cannot afford to have teachers moving in and out of their lives. Please do not vote for this bill.
02-12-2017
Roy Appleget [Iowa State Penitentiary]
CON
This bill will do no good for anyone in Iowa. As a correctional officer, I, and my coworkers deal with the worst of the worst every day. We absolutely put our lives on the line. But beyond that, anyone with children or grandchildren certainly would want to keep the best teachers, not drive them out due to poor benefits and an unsure future. This bill affects virtually everyone to some extent or another . . . whether you're a state worker, or the impact that a state worker has on you or your life. Vote no.
02-12-2017
Anonymous [Public School Educator]
CON
OUR GOALS:Ensure fair and equitable rights for teachers and other Iowa public employees at the negotiating table and in their daily work lives. Require employers to abide by due process, not subject teachers to arbitrary decision making with no recourse.Protect the citizens voice as represented by their democratically elected local school boards, rather than ceding control of their districts to the state.Free teachers to focus on teaching our kids, rather than battling corporate education "reform."Let's honor and stand with those who have taught generations of Iowans and made our great state what it is today. We march in solidarity with educators and all of Iowa's hardworking public servants.PLEASE Vote NO to SF 213 and HF291
02-12-2017
Johnie Hammond [Citizens of the state of Iowa]
CON
This bill will make it difficult to recruiting t and retan the quality of workers Iowa needs to be a thrive ng state. Furthermore it appears that the Republicans have declared war on public enployees, including:* considering changing IPERS to a defined contribution plan;* refusing to increase the minmum wage, and rolling back the minimum wage in those counties that have increased it;*underfunding schools so teachers will get little or no increase;*destroying collective bargainng, while maintaining the no strike provisions of the law.Good employee relations require good faith gve and take.WHAT DO REPUBLICANS HAVE AGAINST PUBLIC EMPLOYEES. They are your neighbors.
02-12-2017
Karen Keller []
CON
Did you know that before the 1970s, teachers married to farmers always were paid less and got lower, if any, raises because the administration knew that they could not leave? For teachers, collective bargaining has removed the superintendents best friend aspect from salary bargaining. If you repeal collective bargaining, teachers will be forced to compete with each other for salary dollars. This will, of course, affect teacher morale. Who loses then? STUDENTS! Teachers use every ounce of knowhow to do what is best for each and every child. They use every free moment of time to accomplish this. Forcing them to use that time instead to fight for every dollar of pay takes that time away from the students. Quit giving away millions upon millions of dollars for corporate tax breaks that help only corporations, not middleclass, taxpaying Iowans. Use that money for all the teachers who care about our best resource, our youth.
02-12-2017
Anonymous [Fort Dodge Public Schools]
CON
This act will not help education, instead it will hurt it. It is difficult to hire quality para educators and teachers. When you take away employees ability to protect themselves in the workplace, advocate for their rights and needs such as health insurance, and negate the value of past work they have done, you will find even more difficulty hiring and keeping quality staff in education positions. There is little respect in the legislature for educators and those who are in dangerous jobs protecting the livelihood of Iowa citizens. This act is an attack on a group or people who do what they do not because it makes them financially wealthy, but because they believe in what they do.
02-12-2017
Wayne Haskovec [ISEA]
CON
There is really only one question to ask: How does this help the value of a child's education? It seems as if HF291 is really driving to accomplish something much different than helping students succeed. By taking away public employees right to collectively bargain, how does that actually improve any aspect of my daughter's education? My wife and I pay taxes, we are constituents, we both have college degrees with an exhausting amount of graduate hours, and we are educators who help children. Our entire lives are and continue to be dedicated to the community school system. Why does it seem like there is a contentious target on our backs for doing so? Schools are (in many cases) the largest company/employer in many small communities across the state. The impact of this bill will deal the single most disruptive blow to state education in modern history. On behalf of education, and the future of education, please don't forget that........how does this bill help a child's education?
02-12-2017
Krystal Miller [2nd grade teacher]
CON
I have often commented to my husband I want to go to Finland and teach because they treat their teachers as the professionals they are. Passing this bill would be just another nail in the coffin of having dedicated, professional people teach our students here in Iowa. We are already losing great people to math and science fields instead of teaching those areas because of pay. Now we would loose others as well. Passing this bill will cause people who love what they do, and are good at it, to choose another route. We also have parents (who are teachers) discouraging their children, who want to teach, from following that career path. This isn't just about teachers, it is about all public servants. We serve the public. When you take our rights away you will get whatever you get for people willing to work under conditions not suitable to raising families. And our public will suffer because of that.
02-12-2017
Karl Schilling [Iowa United Professionals/United Electrical Workers]
CON
The way the bill is written the buying power of union workers can only go down. Right now our teachers are 25th in the nation in salary. If they can only bargain for 3% or cost of living, which ever is less, it means that any "agreement" less than cost of living can never be made up by a raise more than cost of living in a better economic times. All losses are in granite. It becomes inevitable that salaries continue to go down in buying power until we are 30th, then 40th and finally down with Mississippi. The decline is inevitable under this plan with the only control being how many contracts it takes to take us down to the bottom. This bill even trammels the ability of future governors like a Robert Ray to bring us up.
02-12-2017
Anonymous [Cedar Falls Schools]
CON
You are stripping teachers of their voice and of fair treatment. You are assuming that every administrator who comes through our building is fair and balanced. You took away our right to due process which means they have the ability to fire for any reason even if it's personal or construed. By stripping collective bargaining away, but still keeping us from striking, you send the clear message that you do not care about us. Like it or not, your treatment of teachers has a direct impact on the students. Not only will they suffer in the shortterm, but our entire state will suffer the repercussions of this backhanded and cowardly move. I'm sure you've already heard people saying that they'll remember this come election time and that probably doesn't worry you because you've still got the rest of your term. But consider the repercussions of this bill. We will swing so much further in the other other direction that any good you think you might have done will be destroyed and people will never trust you or your party again. OR instead, you could be a true leader in actually uniting this state and do things that cause us to have a fair and balanced government so extreme laws do not get made. You want to save tax payers some money, it's not by taking power away from teachers. Start with administrators' salaries, look into frivolous spending, etc, but do not take away the voice of teachers who, with the lower pay that we have, are still so passionate about their students and their content that they spend their noncontract hours and money on those students. Or the really obvious way to save money is to reduce your salary. It seems based on the number of days you actually work (that's not even FOR the people), you should be earning about what teachers do. YouTube Taylor Mali's "What Teachers Make" and ask yourself if that's the passion you want to remove from teachers across the state of Iowa; not just for the rest of the year, not just the rest of your term, but for some, the rest of their life.
02-12-2017
Shannon Owens [Des Moines Public Schools, DMEA, ISEA]
CON
I am a lifelong Iowan, I graduated from Roosevelt High School in Des Moines. I graduated with a BA in English from the University of Iwo awn and d an MA in I am a teacher in Des Moines and a member of the DMEA. I believe I got a great education in DMPS, I was taught to read, write, math, and civics and on elf the most valuable things I acquired from Des Moines Public School was to think for yourself and and to stands up for you rights and to value the rights of students as well. I went to Callanan Middle School and was proudly told of the Tinker Vs. The school board case, the social studies teachers I had told us that students and families from Callanan and Roosevelt wore black arm bands to protest the Vietnam War and were suspend and this case went all the way to the supreme court and supported the sdtueents and families from Des mOiens right to freedon of experssion na dthier right t
02-12-2017
Judy Sivertsen [Afscme-183]
CON
Unions have been a significant protection for workers every since the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in 1911. Our current administration also seems willing to sacrifice the workers for big business. We are US citizens we have rights which the Unions protect. I am sorry I can not be in Des Moines on Monday but my co workers will be there. They speak for me.
02-12-2017
Elizabeth Dinschel [Action Iowa, Ad Hoc Group]
CON
I am speaking and commenting as a concerned citizen.
Attachment
02-12-2017
Amanda Tharp []
CON
Taking away collective bargaining rights is wrong. It is just another way to break down the middle class. Without these public servants our water would not be clean, our roads would not be safe, and our children would not be educated.
02-12-2017
Laura Leise []
CON
This bill is an attack on hard working Iowans. Pease vote no. It will have a negative far reaching impact on almost every Iowa family. I do not recall anyone running on this during the election. I don't believe the pubic is asking for it. If chapter 20 needs to be changed fine but make it fair rather than completely tipping the scales to step on hard working Iowas.
02-12-2017
Anonymous [ISEA]
CON
To Whom It May Concern: I am a Paraeducator from River Valley Community School District. I am asking you to oppose HSB84 and SF213. I have worked at River Valley for 8 years, and started at $7.25/hr. We make 34x less than a teacher makes in the district, but we work there to better the kids and our own children as well. I truly feel if we don't have this option available to us, our raises will become nothing. I have also had a PRN/on call position in a nonunion workplace for 8 years, and prior to that I worked there fulltime for 12 years. I have not been able to receive a raise there for 9 years. Do you think we will have a fair shake without a union? Iowa workers need to be able to have a voice, and to be able to sit down and bargain with their employees to better their families so they can be better employees and so they don't have to live in poverty. I am opposed to the collective bargaining bill because: 1) The bill completely removes educator voices the ones closest to the classroom from the decisions being made. Negotiations are not just about wages, they are about decisions made that affect our students. This bill eliminates any discussion about those decisions. 2) Where are the cost saving measures in the bill and where does this give more local control to our communities? Educators and other employees have been stripped of control and local school boards are not allowed to discuss most topics with those in the classroom. 3) This bill will cause a ripple effect hitting our rural communities hardest. How will we attract and retain the best and brightest in our profession with no voice in their profession and no incentives to move to harder to fill areas?I am emailing you to ask you to oppose HSB84 and SF213. "We're talking about the family budgets of roughly 180,000 Iowans. They teach our children, pick up our trash, fight fires, police our communities, and plow the snow." The Des Moines Register This affects everyone in Iowa communities. I am choosing to engage and support my colleagues."These changes will hit female workers hardest, who comprise 61 percent of Iowas public workforce." ISEA We don't want or need a situation like Wisconsin had a few years ago where Scott Walker made a mess of things real fast. What is reality here: workers will lose benefits and be forced to take on second careers or find new jobs. (I, myself, already have a second job!) I urge you to be vigilant to those 180,000 Iowa workers and families this will affect. During the reelection, the Republican party ran on the premise to improve the incomes of Iowans. This would NOT get the job done. We need you to help us Iowans...not cripple us!Signed, Concerned Constituent
02-12-2017
MIchael Dierickx [Iowa Citizen ]
CON
This bill is showing where our state government focus is at. We used to be able to take pride in our state education and now we are throwing all the hard work that every person in education has ever done for our state children down the drain. I encourage you make education a priority again.
02-12-2017
Connie Richardson []
CON
Honorable Representatives, I urge you to vote NO on this bill. Having been in education for 43 years I appreciate the opportunity for Boards and Associations to come to the table and negotiate. To me it's about retaining our fantastic teachers who give their best to their students every day. Also, I am concerned as I work with beginning teachers, that it will become more difficult to attract and retain these educators who desire to work in Iowa. There are many other opportunities outside our state to attract these bright educators. As a citizen, a parent and an educator I urge you to defeat this bill.
02-12-2017
David McCloney [Concerned Iowa Voter and Parent]
CON
As a parent of a 6th grade student, I am concerned that educators I trust to teach my son will no longer be able to afford this career if this bill is passed. Removal of the ability for the teachers union to have collective bargaining with the perspective school districts will cause many talented educators to seek employment in the private sector. Teacher salaries are not competitive alone, which is why it is important to also allow for bargaining of health benefits. The health insurance benefits of public school employees has been agreed upon during collective bargaining sessions. If collective bargaining is not allowed in the future, many quality teachers will be forced to make the decision to leave the career that they love to provide for their own families. If experienced teachers leave this will only lead to a downward spiral for the education provided by public schools. Public education is the backbone of our society. Think of your favorite teacher and the positive influence they had on your life. Now, imagine the person you would be without that positive influence in your life. Do what is best for Iowa teachers, Iowa students and citizens of Iowa. Vote no against this bill (HF291). Allow the teachers to sit down and negotiate their benefits.
02-12-2017
Jeff [Schoening]
CON
A Bill of this magnitude, which will affect so many Iowa workers, should not be fasttracked through the Legislature in this underhanded way. The people of this State deserve better!
02-12-2017
Anonymous [ ]
CON
I am asking you to oppose HSB84 and SF213. Neither is a good idea for the citizens of Iowa. I am a Para at a Northwest Iowa Public School and started at Minimum wage, I am now in my 6th year. I choose to work in this area not because of the pay but to better children. I am currently working with a child who has violent tendencies. I would like you to think twice before you approve such a harsh bill.
02-12-2017
Jim Young []
CON
This attack on collective bargaining attacks public servants and their families! It is written to take away the voice of workers in their place of employment and to improve/solve problems with the working conditions, improve their compensation and benefits, and mutually with the management to improve the relationship between workers and management!When I hear a Republican House member say it doesn't take away the ability of the worker to talk to their employer, I am reminded of how it used to be before collective bargaining. There were inequalities between the pay of men as head of households and women. Now if a district wants to retain certain "favorites" they will "bargaining for one".. not the good of the whole! There goes our efforts to work collaboratively because if some are going to show they're better than the others, there will be backstabbing, favoritism, and further inequalities between people doing the same job with the same qualifications!Vote NO on any so called reform to collective bargaining. There is nothing reformed; it is gutting us to be like Wisconsin. It took several years in the 1970s to get Chapter 20 approved by a Republican Governor, House and Senate, and what has served the public good for 40 years, it should NOT be dismantled without full public discussion with everyone at the table! It should NOT be a vindictive group of legislators who want to exercise a limited discourse of conversation with the public disrupting something that collectively works!Jim YoungCedar Falls
02-12-2017
Shannon Owens [ISEA, DMEA, Des Moines Public Schools ]
CON
I have included an attachment stating that I attended and graduated from DMPS and am proud of the legacy of former Des Moines Public School students left by Tinker V. Des Moines Community School board court decision that gave students "freedom of expression rights that don't end at the schoolhouse." I have also detailed that as a special education teacher in the metro Des Moines area for the last ten years I have not felt I had freedom of expression to advocate for myself as an educator or for my students with out fear of retaliation. I stated and detailed the way that ISEA and local uniserv units have been the voice that has protected and advocated for students and teachers.
Attachment
02-12-2017
M Panoch []
CON
The election is over, and elected officials are must work for their families. So I invite all elected officials to listen to the voices of Iowans as you consider this piece of legislation. Consider the voices of those involved in education and the voices of those not involved in education. The message against this bill is overwhelming, and I do not see rallies supporting it. If this legislation is so critical and important, why does it not include police? There is enough concern here to at least stop the bill and be thoughtful in our steps. But instead we have our "party lines" that are dictating the way business is done. Iowa is a unique place within the United States. Our caucus process is a litmus test to the Oval Office. Lawmakers, preserve the process by listening to the voices. Listen to the Iowans of this state by voting in response to the cry of the people.
02-12-2017
Amy Shaw [Waukee Schools Teacher ]
CON
Please support our children in Iowa. Support our teachers and all Iowa Working families. Collective bargaining gives out hard working people a voice. It does not cost the state of Iowa anything. Show support for all Americans. Keep your promises to Iowans. Do what's right and vote no.
02-12-2017
Becky Johnson [1958]
CON
I am opposed to House File 291 because it takes away the rights of hardworking public employees who deserve the right to bargain for more than just salary. Collective bargaining has protected our state's public workers for decades. I am concerned about the possibility of employers having the ability to fire workers without just cause. This bill was written without input from labor unions or Democratic representatives or senators. Please do not attack public workers.
02-12-2017
Anonymous []
CON
Taking away employees bargaining rights is not a good idea, these are public service sector and the pay is terrible overall, benefits and rights are important to us.
02-12-2017
Anonymous [Citizen of this state]
CON
I moved here from Texas in 2001. Texas is an antiunion state. I moved here for a better job with the same level of benefits that I had in Texas. As a public employee in Texas, we didn't to have an union. If the economy was good, new hires came in above the minimum. If the economy was bad new hires came in at the minimum. There were no step increases. So a worker with the same job who was hired at the minimum could end up training their coworker who would forever make more doing the same job. The only way to get ahead was to job hop from job to job. Is that what we want in Iowa? A constant shift of teachers and employees hopping from job to job? Rural school district will lose out to the cities. The state will be unable to hire and keep highly technical workers. They will leave looking for a better job either to private industry in Iowa or to a surrounding state like Minnesota. Have you done an impact study on how much it will cost the state and school districts to hire and train new employees over and over? Older employees may stick it out, but young ones will avoid becoming teachers, IT professionals, EMS, 911 operators, prison guards.. they will chose other jobs. I left Michigan for the military in the 80's for a job opportunity. If this goes through, I would encourage my children to leave Iowa for a state that values its workers. Last one out, turn out the lights!
02-12-2017
Jean Kaul [Concerned Citizen Standing for Iowa Workers]
CON
The working men and women of Iowa are under attack by Republicans who want to strip away the rights of public employees and drive down wages across the state. Public employees keep us safe, repair our infrastructure and educate our children. If Republicans get their way, nurses, teachers, snow plow drivers, and all public employees will no longer have a seat at the negotiating table. This bill is nothing but a political attack on working families. It is unfair. It is unnecessary. It in unAmerican.
02-12-2017
Anonymous [public school parent]
CON
I do not support HF 291. An issue of this magnitude deserves adequate time for public debate and expert analysis. This bill has been fasttracked to the detriment of Iowa's public servants.
02-12-2017
Anonymous [Ankeny schools ]
CON
Please vote no for this bill. If you value teachers and everyone impacted by this bill you will vote no. Thank you.
02-12-2017
Anonymous []
CON
this is a rushed bill with no study of the economic or labor ramifications to the State of Iowa. This was already done in the State of Wisconsinprobably the same template since is was by ALEC and it had extremely negative consequences for students, employees and the state. Iowa used to stand for good Public Education we were known for it through out the USA with both Universities and Employers. Don't destroy our reputation.Vote NO change to CHAPTER 20
02-12-2017
Elaine Baughman [']
CON
Please reconsider and add the Department of Correction to the group of public safety employees. They are most definitely facing danger.
02-12-2017
Anonymous [self]
PRO
Thought I already registered.
02-12-2017
Anonymous [Not a robot]
CON
$500 million in corporate tax breaks that are obviously not having enough of a positive impact on Iowa are inexcusable. As a taxpayer footing the bill for these tax breaks and your exceptional health care I am seriously questioning my choice to vote Republican ever again. The tax cuts you have proposed are a direct hit to programs that benefit the majority of the constituents in your districts. We are watching your vote very carefully.
02-12-2017
Laura Hubka [Voting citizen]
CON
I'm pretty politically active. Many people reach out to me for information. I've had so many people call me that are public employees, teachers and the like. Many of these people voted for the Republican legislators that now have seats. Now all these people are shocked and dismayed. A lot of these people actually believed what you said in those fancy commercials and flyers that you had during your election and reelection campaigns. They don't want this to happen. So while you sit in those legislative seats I want you to remember something. Even though you want the vote in November many people are unhappy with you. I know you can tell that because you go to your forums and people are shouting you down. I suggest you pay attention to the people that are upset and angry. If you want to keep your jobs I suggest you start listening to the people rather to the big donors that paid for your fancy flyers and cowboy cards. You know in your heart this is wrong. Just stop now. We're not going away. This energy will be carried into door knocking and phone calling and meeting with our neighbors. We're watching what you're doing we're writing it down and we're sharing the information. Quickly The Tide is turning. Do what's right.
02-12-2017
Susan Kaliszewski []
CON
Iowa has a strong history of excellent public education, but this bill will damage our system by discouraging students from becoming teachers. Our children and their children deserve better. Republican mismanagement of the budget and extreme corporate tax cuts are not an excuse for destroying the public employees we all depend upon. They deserve better, not worse benefits! Shame on Republicans for hurting the middle and lower classes!
02-12-2017
Anonymous [Pleasant Valley schools]
CON
This bill will set back education in Iowa 40 years. Progress made the last few decades have come through districts working hand in hand with teachers' associations. The recent Teacher Leadership and Compensation plan came about in this way. Our Republican governor takes great pride in that initiative but it would not have succeeded through topdown implementation. Public workers who are at the heart of our communities will be deeply impacted if this bill passes. Many of these workers serve the people and our children often in unsafe jobs. Having a small voice on insurance and fair pay seems reasonable for the work they do and the process has been working. Please, look at evidence. Use rational reasoning and not philosophical dictates that don't work in our state. Vote no on this bill.
02-12-2017
Steve Pratt []
CON
By repaying the state for their cheap health care brought to you by the negotions of union workers, the legislators wouldn't have to "worry" so much about balancing the budget. What a shameful "act of omission" for some of your legislative constituents to have benefited on the backs of taxpayers for YEARS!!! AS the DM Register editorial so exactly explained, each one of you should pay the taxpayers back the share of health coverage you should have paid!!! And to try to take these negotiated health costs away from public servantsWhat a bunch of crooks!!!
02-12-2017
Bryon Owen [Ottumwa Education Association ]
CON
Please do not approve this bill. It is going to hurt the students in our state. It is not what Iowa is about.
02-12-2017
Katie DiMarco []
CON
Vote no on this matter. My husband and I are proud Iowa teachers and not sorry for our middle class lifestyle that we both earned Masters in Education to achieve. Protect Iowa public employee's right to a voice at the table.
02-12-2017
Ana Jules [No Org]
CON
I didn't realize ALL the republicans in the Iowa legislature sold their integrity to the Koch Brothers for this session. I have no idea how any of you can sleep at night, selling out teachers, police, firefighters, EMTs, and all other union employees, along with public safety. You republicans are all hypocrites, with most of your continuing to pay union rates for health insurance while dismantling the union itself. YOU reap benefits from collective bargaining. You're all disgusting. BTW, election day 2018 is 631 days from today. We will remember.
02-12-2017
Jennifer Schumann [Concerned Citizen]
CON
This bill guts chapter 20 and will ensure that our finest will look to other states and/or other occupations rather than work for the state in jobs that ask too much and pay too little. It is important for me to make it known that I am not an employee of the state nor is any of my family. I'm not opposed to this bill for personal gain. I'm opposed because it will drain talent.
02-12-2017
Elaine Baughman []
CON
Please do not gut the collective bargaining legislation in the state of Iowa. What is being done is shameful, and deserves discussion. Please allow employers and employees to work together and negotiate. Iowa is a strong education state. We want our state to remain a strong education state for our children and grandchildren.
02-12-2017
Danielle Benford []
CON
Hello, I am writing as a concerned resident of Iowa. While I am not personally employed by a union employer nor am I a school teacher, I know the danger in penalizing our public workers. Our teachers, correctional officers, police officers and other public employees deserve our very best due to the jobs that we ask them to perform daily. Iowa Republicans have already gutted their funding and now they want to remove any and all power they have in negotiating anything?! Is the end goal to drive all educators out of the state of Iowa, be unattractive to anyone looking for a teaching job and not be able to entice our graduates to stay here to educate our youth?! As the mother of an elementaryaged child, I am ashamed at how we are treating those who we entrust the educating of our children.
02-12-2017
Anonymous []
CON
This will hurt working people in Iowa!
02-12-2017
Chris Leise []
CON
This is a terrible bill that tramples workers rights.
02-12-2017
KARIN DERRY []
CON
This bill is antiteachers, antipublic employees, and antiIowa. Given the proud history of public education we have in Iowa, it is difficult to understand the animosity the Republican sponsors of this bill have toward teachers, but this partisanship has got to stop. I urge Iowa's Republican legislators to stand up for what is right, put aside partisanship, and vote against this bill.
02-12-2017
Julie Schwertley [DMPS]
PRO
I have been teaching in the inner city for 20 years. I love my students and love teaching. However I have Rehmatoid arthritis and two children with type one diabetes. Collective bargaining has meant my health insurance has been good enough to enable me to justify teaching. We have lower pay but the benifits allow me to justify the 15,000 dollar pay cut I took when I left the private sector to teach. I worry that my own children will not have highly qualified teachers because people are leaving. My husband has been offered higher paying jobs in other states but we have chosen to stay because of the great education our children have received with this bill we will be joining places like Wisconsin and Mich. where public education has been gutted. This gives us zero incentive to keep our family and our tax dollars in the state. Julie Schwertley
02-12-2017
Nicole Shillington []
CON
I have been a proud, Iowan public school teacher for 20 years. The destruction of Chapter 20 is demeaning and extremely insulting to ALL public employees. We are the backbone of this state AND nation...not politicians. YOU work for US! This legislation will be devastating to morale and to our children. Our state is renowned for our excellent teachers and support for public schools. If this legislation passes, our excellence in this area will suffer immensely. Having a seat at the table allows for respectful negotiation between both parties as they are EQUALS in this process. All public employees deserve the right to make a living and a better life for themselves and their families. Vote NO to this legislation because our state deserves better than this!
02-12-2017
curtis briggs []
CON
To our honorable senators and representatives: This bill is harmful to state employees. It is too far reaching. If changes are to needed in collective bargaining, then let us make changes to improve, not destroy all the good along the way. If ever a bill "throws the baby out with the bathwater", this is it. Please do NOT vote this bill into law.
02-12-2017
Jane Shuttleworth []
CON
Greetings;I am concerned this bill would have an uneven and unfair impact on rural school districts. Iowa is mostly rural state, Please vote no and protect rural school districts that are already struggling.
02-12-2017
Berniece H. Ford [ Des Moines Public Schools]
CON
Our children deserve a wonderful education. No child left behind. They are the future. I moved to Iowa for this reason with my own children. Iowa should stay leading the nation in educating our children. After my children were educated here, I decided to give back and join forces and help educate other children. I have two college graduates from Iowa and have been teaching for 25 years in the Iowa school system. That's 25 classes of graduates for the future of Iowa. I will be leaving for retirement in 3 years and hope to have 3 more groups of students that I can attend their graduation celebrations. I tell all my students that I expect them to attend college and graduate just as I have told my own. This is the expectation of all my students. Thank you for helping these students succeed in their future because as adults we chose our paths. Give them the same opportunity to be successful.
02-12-2017
Anonymous [N/A]
CON
Throughout this whole week I just keep asking, "Why are they trying to destroy a process that is working well?" "Why are they trying to take away the system that facilitates labor and management using facts to form contracts?" So...I just wanted to ask "WHY?" Feel free to provide me an answer. THANKS!
02-12-2017
Virginia Driscoll []
CON
I vehemently oppose this bill. It will do nothing to strengthen the economy or help taxpayers. It will weaken Iowa, as a whole.
02-12-2017
Anonymous [Citizen]
CON
I am very against this bill. Please protect public workers. The state should be our model for other companies. This is not about republican or democrats. It's about right and wrong. Many people voted republican with no clue this what they were going to do. I am one of them.
02-12-2017
Brett Monnard []
CON
This bill is bad for Iowa Public Employees, and bad for the Iowa public. It will gut a law that has served Iowans well for over 40 years. The changes proposed will limit the scope of negotiation in ways that will do nothing to save Iowa taxpayers money, but will harm Iowa workers. Not being able to negotiate about health and safety rules will end up costing taxpayers more, when injuries occur that could have been prevented. Eliminating "just cause" provisions for firing will prevent teachers from being able to advocate forcefully for the best interests of their students. If a student needs a service that the district does not want to provide, teachers can currently advocate forcefully for that student, confident that they will not lose their job in retaliation. This bill removes that protect. The changes to grievance procedures will result in more disagreements being litigated in the courts, which will cost cities and counties dearly. These changes, when taken together, will harm the ability of public employees to deal with issues while they are still minor. It will make it harder for Iowa to retained skilled, high quality public employees. Ive heard it said that the changes to chapter 20 are to give taxpayers a voice. Public employees like me are taxpayers. I spend my hard earned money paying my property taxes, supporting local business, tithing at my church, helping local charities, and putting money back in to the Iowa economy. Taking away my ability to have a say in my work environment will harm my ability to do all of these things as well. I urge you to vote no on this poorly vetted, poorly though out bill.
02-12-2017
Joe Stutler []
CON
This is a bad bill, a thinlyveiled act of unionbusting. This is not how to treat our civil servants.
02-12-2017
Anonymous [Citizens of the State of Iowa]
CON
This bill is a clear attempt to destroy the union's abilities to stand up for the workers' rights. Removing everything except wages from the bargaining table is removing everything that really matters. The Republicans cannot pull the wool over our eyes we know what they are really trying to do, which is destroy worker's rights. We are not Wisconsin Iowa did not get the best graduation rate in the nation by mistreating our teachers!
02-12-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I am a public school teacher and I oppose the overturning of this bill. I believe that public school teachers have every right to have a voice in negotiating wages, and health benefits for the welfare of our families. We provide a stable, safe place for the children of Iowa to come each and every day. You owe us the chance to provide that same thing financially for our own children. If you overturn this bill you will be doing a disservice to every child in our state, as well as our teachers. You will be discouraging future generations from becoming teachers. PLEASE reconsider. Care for teachers the way we care for your children!!
02-12-2017
Andy Douglas []
CON
Public educators and human service workers, in fact all public service employees, deserve good decent pay and basic workers' rights such as the right to collectively bargain. If we don't support our teachers, that reflects very poorly on our values as a state. Please vote no against this pending bill.
02-12-2017
Kate Casalettto []
CON
Our education system is our future. You cannot expect to continue to hire and recruit the best and the brightest if they can go elsewhere for a more comprehensive benefits package.
02-12-2017
Anonymous [Taxpayers ]
CON
I urge you to vote no. This bill will hurt our state. I want people to want to move to our state. This is not want republican or democrats want as tax payors. Please work for the people that voted you into office. People will change the way they vote if they are not listened to.
02-12-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I disagree with this bill.
02-12-2017
Anonymous [Self]
CON
Republicans, stop hurting us! We need public employees who are empowered and secure so that they don't cave/shift with the political winds but rather work for everyone. Stop being so vicious and punitive.
02-12-2017
Anonymous [Taxpayers ]
CON
I urge you to vote no. This bill will hurt our state. I want people to want to move to our state. This is not want republican or democrats want as tax payors. Please work for the people that voted you into office. People will change the way they vote if they are not listened to.
02-12-2017
Elizabeth Heineman [None]
CON
We must leave strong collective bargaining provisions in place. Our state benefits from public sector workers who can live in security and work in dignity. We must recruit and retain the best not create conditions that will make dedicated and talented teachers, EMT workers, etc. seek to leave the state. The current law was a careful, thoughtful compromise signed by a Republican governor. It created stable working conditions while at the same time asking public sector workers to sacrifice something (the right to strike). It has made Iowa a nationwide model of public sector employment! There's no reason to throw all this away. It would hurt Iowa and Iowans.
02-12-2017
Kerri Mennenga [ISEA ]
CON
I am a graduate of Iowa public schools and a current educator in the Iowa public schools. Collective bargaining is a very effective tool that has been working well for Iowans for over 40 years. It gives the teachers a voice at the bargaining table. It also gives a clear set of guidelines for both administrators and teachers. This is a benefit to the administration as well as the teachers and students. It is important for our legislators to support our public service workers and their right to collective bargaining. I could have taken a higher paying job in the private sector, but I was called to the role of public servant. By accepting this call I knew that I would exchange a bigger paycheck for job security and the opportunity to follow my calling. HF 291 would take away my opportunity for job security and a stable retirement plan. This will not attract quality teachers to Iowa and it certainly not encourage high quality teachers to remain in Iowa. I urge you to vote NO on HF 291 for the future of our children as well as our democracy.
02-12-2017
Daniel stoa []
CON
I am concerned that the discussion around this bill has very little connection to evidence and even less so in respect to student success. Private political organizations are airing ads about removing bad teachers, yet nowhere is a "bad teacher" defined. Continually tech companies and other employers come into schools and reiterate that they need collaborative team players in their workforce. It is hard to understand how an attempt to pit teachers against one another is going to create an environment that produces team playing employees. Public education takes on the noble cause of educating every child. It requires collaboration. Learning is complex and cannot be reduced to a comody on which to be bid. Please slow this bill down and put it through proper vetting. Our students depend on us to be prepared for an ever changing future. We owe it to them to make such decisions with more preparation and thought than is required.
02-12-2017
Taney Kurth [Nonfiction Writing Program, University of Iowa]
CON
This bill would be devastating to me and my three small children, one of whom requires constant medical attention. I've lived in Iowa for five years, two of which I worked as a mail carrier. I'd like to be here to stay. Currently I'm a graduate student and a teacher at UI, and I love teaching but this bill would make it extremely hard for me to stay in Iowa, let alone finish my degree, which would have a lasting detrimental effect on both my career and the lives of my children. Please vote no on HF 291.
02-12-2017
Nancy Knight []
CON
Please don't listen to out of state groups like ALEC! Do what is best for Iowa and leave Chapter 20 alone!
02-12-2017
Anonymous [Des Moines Citizen]
CON
I have lived in Iowa since 1989. I have expierenced living in rural, suburban, and inner city communities. Over the years, I have never felt scared to live and work in Iowa. Even as a single mother, I did not fear for my family's safety. However, this bill is designed to make me feel fear each and every day. You see, I am an educator. I come from a family where we've had over a dozen members simultaneously involved in education. I have spent over a decade working tirelessly to improve my craft and enrich the lives of my students many of whom live in poverty. I am extremely dedicated to my school's community. Never have I wanted to leave Iowa because I felt I had the opportunity to grow as a professional and our public school system offered my daughter a great education. I recently enrolled in a masters program and took on additional student debt in order to continue my journey as a life long learner. As an Iowan, I do not support this bill because it is silencing my voice as a teacher, my ability to advocate for my family. If I cannot work in an environment where I am respected, have a professional wage, or send my daughter to great public schools; I will become one of the dedictated parents, educators, tax payers, and voters that sadly has to leave Iowa in search of the American Dream. When doing so, I would be leaving behind a large part of who I am because the state I love would no longer be one that cared about me or my child.
02-12-2017
Jessica Huch [Clear Creek Amana CSD]
CON
I have taught in the same district for 17 years. My husband has taught for 12, and used to direct the high school plays and musicals. We are proud parents of two girls, one in 5th grade and one entering preschool.I am scared that I will have to leave the job I love because we will no longer be able to afford to care for our girls the way they deserve. We do not live outlandishly, and in truth are making it by. We don't want anything extra or special, just the ability to maintain the home we have lived in for 10 years, the necessities, and to keep our girls healthy and happy. With any cuts in pay, this would not be a possibility.Passing this bill could crush that reality and all we have tried to build and help in this community. Please help me maintain my small piece of Iowa happiness. Thank you for your time and for listening.
02-12-2017
Susan Williams []
CON
For 33 years, I've had the pleasure of being a teacher for the Winterset Communty School Disrrict and a member of ISEA. I have participated in negotiations for at least the last 25 years. Chapter 20 works. In my district, we work collaboratively to reach an agreement that works for both the certified staff and the district. Women make up 61% of the public sector work force. This bill is a slap in the face to women across the state. Public sector employees don't make more than private employees. Yes, our benefits might be considered better, but I will tell you that I pay 60% of my family insurance premium. That's $782 a month, not a bargain in my book.Chapter 20 has worked for 40 years. I don't understand why you want to dismantle a law that has worked. You did not campaign on this issue. You are doing your best to destroy public education. I ask you to listen to the thousands of voices in the state that are telling you this proposed law is a bad law. It's bad for the state of Iowa. Vote no on HF291.
02-12-2017
Wendy huss [Local 35]
CON
Vote no
02-12-2017
Kristen Geist []
CON
I am so very disappointed that our elected officials are ignoring the voices of the people they vowed to represent. I am in shock about the attack and systemic silencing that will most likely come to fruition in regards to public employees. Shame on you.
02-12-2017
Jason Hamilton []
CON
It's time to stand together as ONE, and show this legislation that they can't shove these changes down our throats. Remember United we Stand Divided We Beg. With the loss of collective bargaining we will all be doing just that...begging!
02-12-2017
Anonymous [...]
CON
Proponents of this legislation claim it will improve educational outcomes. Although that's politically expedient rhetoric, studies from the Department of Education show that students perform better on standardized tests in states with high levels of unionization compared with states without a large union presence.Others claim that this is best for Iowas bottom line, saying that teachers make too much money or receive more benefits than private sector workers. The facts tell a different story. The average elementary school teacher in Iowa made 7 percent less than the median household income in Iowa, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, despite the law subjecting them to additional education standards.
02-12-2017
Jeffrey Johnson [ibew local 55 member]
CON
please vote no to House Study Bill 84 and Senate File 213. this will be disastrous to our state.
02-12-2017
Sandi Cannon []
CON
I believe that removing all of collective bargaining rights except wage will hurt Iowa. How is this saving taxpayers money? I have heard no logical reason yet.
02-12-2017
Sabrina Shields-Cook []
CON
My family moved to Iowa in 1989, in part because of the amazing school system here. We have done if the brightest minds teaching our childrenlet's keep it that way. Teachers' jobs are never done. They comfort children who are sad, scared, lonely, or sick. They offer love and support to all our children, even those who don't get it at home. They use their own time and money to do their jobs better. They resolve conflicts and teach our children how to be better friends and better people. And on top of all that, they EDUCATE our children. They are miracle workers. Most schools have only one teacher for 25 students. Fulltime educational assistants are a thing of the past. When was the last time you set foot in an elementary classroom? Before you pass this despicable legislation, spend a day with a teacher. They are already underpaid and under appreciated. Stripping them of their collective bargaining rights will most definitely cause wages to stagnate or go down and health insurance costs to rise. Iowa will not be able to keep our excellent teachers, and we will see our rankings go down. Please, take pride in our education system. Do right be our teachers and students. Vote no on HF291.
02-12-2017
Dr Amy DeGroot Hammer [Sioux City Education Association]
CON
Leave Chapter 20 ALONE. It has worked for 40+ years. As a tax payer and a voter and an Iowa resident VOTE NO on HF291.
02-12-2017
Linda Urbas [Melcher-Dallas JH/HS]
CON
I am angry at the audacity of publicly elected officials pushing through a narrowsighted agenda. if this were truly about bettering Iowa, it could wait until all sides have had a say and and an agreement was reached through bipartaniship. If it were truly about bettering Iowans, it would raise people up not bring them down. If our elected officials truly cared about all constituents, they would not support this legislation.
02-12-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I oppose to this bill as a public sector employee's spouse. This bill will not compensate the employees for the increase in health insurance that will happen which will drastically effect family month budgets and causing severe ramifications for some including mortgages and past due bills.This also affects the education of our children across the entire state. Does legislature want to hinder that since some teachers will not be able to keep their jobs due to the cost of proposed health insurance, thus having to hired subpar replacements. How is that to help the State of Iowa to be on the leading edge of education advancements.Do you feel this will keep college graduates in the state? No, they are going to go where the better jobs are in different states and larger cities.What affect do you think this will have on the economy of the State? It isn't going to grow. Do you think families who have an increase in health insurance premiums are going to go out to eat on a regular basis, frequent businesses to purchase extra things like clothes, jewelry, etc. Some will even struggle to purchase the groceries needed. To me this will hinder the economic development of the State across the board.
02-12-2017
Dale Hanaman [Methodist Federation for Socisl Action]
CON
I am glad to speak on behalf of unions.
02-12-2017
Steven Hammer [Parent]
CON
As a tax payer and a voter and an Iowa resident VOTE NO on HF291.
02-12-2017
Jennifer [Meyer]
CON
Please leave Chapter 20 alone. I have worked for DHS 33years. The job is very challenging and extremely stressful. I fear additional stress from the uncertainty of job security. I fail to understand why you want to do this. It has worked for many years. I know that Terry Brandstad has disliked unions his entire career. Please do not follow in his footsteps. This is not what you were voted into office to do.
02-12-2017
Steven Hammer [Parent]
CON
As a tax payer and a voter and an Iowa resident VOTE NO on HF291.
02-12-2017
Katy DeMeulenaere [SEIU Local 199]
CON
My name is Katy DeMeulenaere and I am a social worker at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. My job is to work with the most vulnerable patients that walk through our ER doors by assisting them in obtaining health coverage thus allowing them to access health care services. I am also a proud SEIU union member. My husband also works for the University of Iowa in landscape services and is a member of AFSCME. He took a $15,000 paycut to come work for the University and our family made this sacrifice because of the benefits that are afforded to us as a result of collective bargaining. When you take away our collective bargaining rights and our benefits within in our negotiated contracts, a 15,000 pay cut doesn't really seem worth it anymore. I sat with my colleagues on Friday, social workers that help your friends and family discharge safely from the hospital, social workers that set up hospice services for your dying loved ones and these same social workers including myself, save our hospital millions of dollars a year in reducing self pay charges and reducing long length of stays. I listened to them talk about leaving the hospital for other jobs, leaving the state, selling their house because they would no longer be able to afford it and I saw fear. I saw fear in their eyes and tears stream down their face, I heard why are they doing this and what am I going to do? I didn't have those answers and I'm not sure any of you do either. Many of them asked about striking but conveniently while almost everything is stripped away in this bill, you left in that we couldn't strike. This is not only an attack on working public sector families but this will also be an attack on the patients that we serve. We will definitely lose good, solid healthcare professionals at our institution which is unfortunate because at the end of the day, we love our jobs and none of us went into our professions to get rich, we went into our professions to feel good about he work we do. Please, I urge you to vote no on these bills. My colleagues, our families and our patients deserve better.
02-12-2017
Julie DeGroot [Parent]
CON
As a tax payer and a voter and an Iowa resident VOTE NO on HF291.
02-12-2017
Dana Meyer [Social worker]
CON
Vote no
02-12-2017
Janet Lark [Human being]
CON
Shame on you! This is not going forward this is a giant leap backwards.
02-12-2017
Rebecca Gearheart []
CON
The original intent of the Chapter 20 bill was to give public employees the opportunity to be treated with some respect in their fields. To take away the opportunity for those employees to have a say at the table is unfair, to say it kindly. The people who have created this bill are being unfair to all of the people in Iowa. Who would want to work in this state when they can go elsewhere and be treated better? We don't need for teachers to have sliding pay scales. All that will happen then is coaches and the like will be paid more. That isn't fair to the teachers who also work in the classroom. It is creating a workplace where people won't be happy, and I for one an not happy that my own children will not have the best teachers in their classrooms because they will go elsewhere. And they will. Ask WI, who now has a teacher shortage because of the gutting of the way teachers are treated. This is the first step for all unions in the public sector to be abolished. The governor started with the police union, and he felt the backlash, so now he is going after the teachers. It is the beginning of the end for all unions in Iowa.
02-12-2017
Erin Lane [Dallas Center-Grimes Education Association ]
CON
Dear representatives,I am a public school teacher and have been for 13 years. I am a product of public schools and I consider the school in which I teach to be exceptional. That is something that we excel at in this state. The legislation being presented would undermine this great legacy in our state. It would take basic protections away from the public servants who serve our great state day in and day out. It would not only affect teachers, but all members of labor unions. Unions that were created to protect the rights of workers in order to make our workforce more skilled and to serve the public better. It would take away our ability to discuss basic terms of employment with our employers, and allow them to terminate us at will. I hope that you will look at the impact that this bill will ultimately have on the state and ignore the special interests and partisan politics involved. This isn't about fighting against liberals. It is about protecting workers. Pure and simple. Don't make us into another Wisconsin where teacher's salaries have remained frozen, where there is lack of funding and where teachers have flocked away from the state in search of better protections. My husband and I are both public school teachers. We both have masters degrees in our respective content areas and we provide dual credit offerings to our schools and students. We save them thousands of dollars in college costs and time in pursuing their post secondary educations. We seek to give them a bright start in their futures. We don't teach for the money or the "perks". In fact we pay almost $800 per month in family health insurance, which is the cheaper of the plans that our different districts offer. We take classes to maintain our licenses and spend countless hours outside of our contract time to serve our students' needs. We have two children who depend on our insurance. With the provisions in this bill, I fear that this will not be possible. We, along with firefighters, policemen and women, plumbers and steamfitters, electricians, teamsters and countless other professions provide skilled work that make our state great. I ask you to listen to your constituents, and to ask your respective consciences if this is really fair or what Iowa needs. We just want a seat at the table and to be able to provide for our families adequately. Is that too much to ask for the people who educate our state?Sincerely,Erin Lane
02-12-2017
Jennifer Littlefield [Iowa citizen]
CON
Please vote no. This bill will negatively impact our state for years. We need to promote good jobs for our state. We need to stand behind our working class. This is not about democrats or republicans, but it is about what is right.
02-12-2017
Jennifer [Meyer]
CON
Please leave Chapter 20 alone. I have worked for DHS 33years. The job is very challenging and extremely stressful. I fear additional stress from the uncertainty of job security. I fail to understand why you want to do this. It has worked for many years. I know that Terry Brandstad has disliked unions his entire career. Please do not follow in his footsteps. This is not what you were voted into office to do.
02-12-2017
Sarah [Borzo]
CON
I did not become a teacher to become wealthy, or to receive more than I deserve at the expense of the tax payers. I took on student loan debt to become a highly qualified teacher, and continue to pay for higher education so that my students get the education they deserve and that Iowa families have come to expect after years of excellence from our public school systems. Our system is so great in part because we treat our teachers with respect and take care of them in recognition of their commitment to Iowa's children. Presently, as our districts are already underfunded, we dig into our own pockets and spend from our reasonable (yet modest) salaries to provide our students with materials, necessities, environments, and experiences that our districts cannot afford to provide. As a 31yearold teacher with a mortgage, car payment, and student loan debt, I choose to spend between $25,000 annually on my classroom, my students, and my profession. I can do this because I know that my sacrifices are appreciated, valued, and necessary, and that when it comes to salary and benefits, while I won't receive more than I deserve, I will receive what I need. Jeopardizing my salary and benefits also jeopardizes my ability to best meet the needs of my students.
02-12-2017
Virginia Smith [DMPS]
CON
I'm a registered Republican and so far it seems like no matter how many people write, call, protest, you are not really listening to your fellow Iowans. The same people who voted you into office and trusted you to work for us. It seems that you are being puppetiered by someone or something else because you do not seem to be listening to the majority of you constituents. We matter, we work very hard, many without overtime pay, taking work home on weekends, buying our own supplies. These important positions are covered by taxes, well we are tax payers working by paying ourselves. You give great lip service about how valued we are but then you turn around and don't follow through and jeopardise our very livelihood by taking away the only thing that keeps us just above poverty level. If you really cared about us and what we do, you would be working harder to take care of us and improving our situation.
02-12-2017
Christopher Soldat []
CON
I strongly oppose this legislation. I do not feel that the changes this legislation proposes will help our rural schools. We are in a crisis mode with small increases of state aid to help provide an equitable learning environment for all students. We have a working collective bargaining law that has successfully helped navigate differences between employees and employers for the state for many years. It has helped make state employees a professional group that has elevated its status and attracted the best and brightest people possible.
02-12-2017
Elysia Scholl [none]
CON
Why are you destroying the safeguardsfor the people of Iowa? Collective bargaining is a guarantee to ensure fair treatment for those who serve and provide for us all. We deserve livable wages, the right to represent ourselves and respect from our employers.You in the statehouse exist soley to serve and work for us. Do not strip away our rights or we will one day strip away your seat in the capitol.
02-12-2017
John Good [IDOC employee]
CON
This bill is nothing but a political attack on public employees. This is an attempt at busting unions, rigging the system for employers, and disservice to public employees.
02-12-2017
Nancy Hanaman [Methodist Federation for Social Action]
CON
Public employees, including teachers, nurses, custodians, county maintenance workers should be able to engage in collective bargaining which includes health care, wages, working conditions. The rules currently in place for over 30 years have resulted in fair settlements with negotiation with the management involved with arbitration if needed and avoided strikes. The collective bargaining for public employee unions should remain as it is now.
02-12-2017
Anonymous []
CON
In HSB84 and SF213, with the civil service process , once a decision is made it is final. I am unable to appeal the decision in court. In the private sector an employee may use the court system. Therefor I will have less rights than a private employee.
02-12-2017
Teresa Heubner [Teacher]
CON
I strongly oppose this attack on the rights of teachers and other Iowa workers to have the opportunity to collectively bargain about our benefits and working conditions.Love Iowa's teachers like we love your children!
02-12-2017
Tara Stemsrud []
CON
I have tried reaching republicans but they have not returned any calls. I have the following questions: why now? Why is this such a rush? Why won't you allow democrats to have some input. We have both republicans and democrats in this state (I'm a conservative myself). Why follow through when Wisconsin has proven this is a path proven to fail for education? None of these questions are rhetorical and need answers. Common sense says talk to those affected first, get multiple inputs before making a decisions, and do not rush your work. Iowa will faulter if this all goes through, I'm already looking for jobs outside of this state!
02-12-2017
Anonymous [Ms.]
CON
Absolutely opposed
02-12-2017
Amy Fleming [Waterloo Education Association ]
CON
I just ask that you think about who helped you get to where you are today??? Chances are, at least 1 teacher came to mind as well as your parents. A teacher believed in you, they were your cheerleader! Think now how life would be different for you without that teacher? Without your schooling? Can you honestly say you would have been in the same position? I know I can't! As an educator, it is amazing to me how many students come back years later or you run into them somewhere & they remember you or go out of their way to say "hi"! You left a lasting impression on that child's life; they know you cared genuinely about them. It's sad that I am now faced with the possibility of leaving a loved & admired profession because I will not work without my Union having my back. I have that right! It's just as sad that there is already a teacher shortage & current student teachers are questioning their choices... who is going to teach our future generations when all the teachers decide it's not worth it anymore? Teaching should be the most treasured profession that is valued more than many others! It is the one occupation that leads everyone else into theirs! Please don't take that away! Thank you!
02-12-2017
Glenn Ehrstine []
CON
Iowa's current Chapter 20 law has been exemplary in serving both the state and the public employees well. Gutting it will put the most experienced teachers at risk and make it harder for the school districts across the state to hire and keep good teachers.
02-12-2017
Mark C. Daggy [self]
PRO
Unions, including state employee unions and teacher unions need to be beholding to those who pay their salaries. It would be my preference that all collective bargaining be ceased and they state employees and teachers are more than welcome to strike, without pay. Government employees were originally not allowed to strike.Decisions regarding teachers hiring, firing and discipline should solely rest with the local school boards.Not only does the swamp need to be drained at the Federal level....but also at the State level. The private sector is more than capable of fulfilling these services, in many areas.Charter schools and parochial schools do a much better job for less money/student.
02-12-2017
Anonymous [state employee]
CON
Senators,Are you not also state employees? The residents of the State of Iowa voted you as their elected official. To me that indicates you are employed by the people of Iowa. So this bill should affect your status also as we, the people should be able to do the same thing that you are proposing to do like take away your benefits which include pay increases, your insurance, expense money that you get during the time frame legislation is in session, do the annual review on your performance, and fire/impeach you for no cause to name a few of the examples. Have you thought of the fact that the very people this bill will affect are the ones who pay your salaries, the taxes in this state, who may have to leave the public sector and go to the private sector to support their families or even move out of state to get a better job. This would reduce the number of employees to get the work done and others would say why should I try to work for the state as they don't treat their employees with respect. My thought is why are you giving such steep cuts to the corporates to come to State of Iowa. You can still draw businesses here by showing what State of Iowa really has to offer. The willingness of the people to work, the beautiful lands we have, the recreation places for families to enjoy, and our education system.Until recently, I was very proud to say I am a state employee and worked for the same agency for 35 years. Now, I wonder if I dare to say who I work for. I took on a 2nd job to help out with my finances as I also support my son, whose is 24 with disabilities (mental illnesses). Please do not vote for this bill as you would be doing harm not only to the state employees but also to education system for future generations, law enforcement agencies and for the state agencies. for example like DOT and County Maintenance crews that work on trying to keep our road infrastructure in good condition by doing road repairs, snow plowing the roads to keep them open during winter, building roads as that needs arises as vehicle transportation volume increases.Thank you for your time and hopefully for your votes against this bill.
02-12-2017
Mike Noble []
CON
As a Des Moines teacher, I am strongly opposed to this legislation, which I feel is an attack on my colleagues in education and the students we serve each and every day. I work with so many wonderful professionals who are totally devoted, who sacrifice so much time planning and care so deeply about our students. As a parent, I am proud to send my children to Des Moines public schools, but I worry that this legislation will drive away highquality, experienced teachers, and stretch the resources of the remaining educators even more thinly.Teachers already take a significant cut in pay compared to other college graduates, a gap that has widened in recent years. This legislation would widen that gap and make it harder or impossible for teachers and other public sector workers to bargain for essential elements such as health insurance, leave time, and more. Additionally, the requirement to recertify unions and the forbidding of payroll deduction for Union dues are baldfaced attacks on collective bargaining rights and the members of this committee should be ashamed to put their names on this legislation.Hoping the members of this body will come to their senses and fulfill with good faith the public trust they have been awarded, and quickly abolish this legislation, Mike Noble
02-12-2017
Scott Marron []
CON
This bill is a kick in the gut to Iowa workers. There is no constituency for it. Hardworking Iowans should not have to foot the bill for corporate tax cuts. If you are for this bill, please reconsider.
02-12-2017
Barb Nelson [Green Hills AEA]
CON
Under the current chapter 20, we have collaborative, respectful, interestbased bargaining. Throughout the year we can go to our administrators, share concerns, and disagree with them in a proffersional manner without fear of reprisal. With these proposed changes, that will change for our school districts and AEA's. Instead of focusing on what is best for our students, teachers will have the added stress of knowing they could lose their job because a parent who is a board member thinks you are pushing his child too hard. Teachers could be fired because someone in power takes exception with your choice, or prolife, or republican, or Democratic Party affiliation. I know of one friend who had planned to move back to Iowa to teach. She will stay where she is if this bill passes. There is a shortage of teachers in some areas. We have difficulty filling open positions in our AEA as it is and it will become more difficult without the security afforded by a master contract. This bill particularly hits rural Iowa. Our small school districts cannot compete with large districts in attracting and keeping quality teachers if the large school or richer district can pay whatever they want to go they want. Why would any teacher want to work in Iowa under this proposal? I am thankful I am old enough to retire and will do so early because of this bill. My fears are for the students of Iowa. tcolleagues
02-12-2017
Sheri Ergle [Iowa Veterens Home]
CON
Our Veterans signed up for our country with expectations that when they returned that they would get adequate care. Direct caregivers are their voice and its very important that each and every one of their caregivers have the freedom to speak on the veterans behalf and on their own behalf for the comfort of our residents. How do we decide which categories fit under public safety? These veterans are severely affected through mental illness either by declining health or PTSD. These veterans at any moment have potential to be harmful to themselves or their caregiver due to waking up from a military related nightmares or false sense of military reality. An abundance of documentation supports that residents with PTSD or mental illness have potential to strike out at any moment due to their continuous training to defend our country. How is this bill a comfort to our veterans? Their caregivers are not able speak freely on issues in regards to resident care, can be fired without just cause, spur of the moment home financial imbalance with benefits, wages and insurance, and working extended overtime hours due to staff shortages. These resident's need us alert and stress free for their safety. Why is it so important to eliminate collective bargaining. State employees need to be heard. If negotiations weren't allowed in Legislature it would be like a monopoly board being flipped upside down scrambling to sort the pieces. As impossible as this sound how is it justified for state employees to function without negotiations? When several senators in the subcommittee meeting were asked , "have any of you ever experienced a job with collective bargaining?" All the Republican Senators who were asked stated,"no". My question is "what kind of intense research did any of these Senators who stated,"no" do to confirm their decision to vote in favor of this bill and how much adequate time frame did they use to educate themselves? Was it long enough to make a justified decision on a bill that will affect the lifestyle of 180,000 state employees in a very costly manner? Stats in Wisconsin have already proven that this decisions needs more negotiation time then is currently being allowed. Our voice needs heard. I urge all of you to kill this bill. thank you
02-12-2017
Anonymous []
CON
Please oppose this bill. This bill strips public workers of their rights. Collective bargaining has worked in the past and continues to work now. If you want changes made to chapter 20, a better way would be to talk to the people it directly affects and make changes together.I have several concerns about this bill as an employee(educator), a parent, and an Iowan. Both my husband and I are educators and love our jobs and are good at it. My concern is that this bill will make it virtually impossible for both of us to make a living as educators. I personally know several teachers in Wisconsin and Michigan who have left their state because they cannot afford to make a living as an educator there. I don't want to stop doing what I love in a state that I love, but my family also must be provided for.My concern as a parent is that if this bill passes there could be a mass exodus of educators, leaving vacancies and forcing the state to fill them with subpar applicants. I fear that my child's education will directly suffer from this bill.My fear as an Iowan is that it's becoming clear that the representatives of this state that are passing these bills so quickly see no future in this state. You are chasing away college students with the funding cuts made, this bill will chase away public service employees and it will chase away people looking to come to the state because the educational system will be in shambles.Please oppose this bill for the future of Iowa listen to your people, not what the outside organizations are pushing upon you. Before you act on this bill please carefully examine Wisconsin and see if they are really doing better. Is this really what you want for Iowa? This is not about what's right for your political party it's about what's right for Iowa.
02-12-2017
Anonymous []
CON
As an Iowa taxpayer, a public employee and a parent of a child in the West Des Moines public school system, I am vehemently opposed to the proposed HF291.
02-12-2017
Leland Schipper [Des Moines Public Schools]
CON
I am a young, motivated, and passionate teacher. I entered the teaching profession with the understanding that teachers are undervalued and underpaid, but knowing that it was rewarding and would leave me feeling fulfilled. With the passing of this legislation and the cuts to teachers wages and benefits that will certainly follow, I am afraid the feelings of being undervalued and underpaid will eventually force me to leave the profession. I want my son to know that his father does meaningful work, but I also need to be sure I can afford his medical bills. I need to be sure that I will be able to help my son go to college someday. I cannot work tirelessly for the benefit of my students if I cannot then provide the same opportunities for my own son at home. While teaching is at the core of my identity, this bill will shake that identity, and I am afraid it may eventually break me.
02-12-2017
Cynthia Hanevy []
CON
I am strongly opposed to this measure. Public school teachers have done wonderful things to further the education of my children and grandchildren here in Iowa. Our law enforcement officers have done a great job of keeping us safe in spite of the dangers they face every day. Our public servants have negotiated in good faith and should maintain their current collective bargaining rights.
02-12-2017
Sally Hartman []
CON
Local control has been working for many years on this matter.
02-12-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I am against the proposed legislation to change collective bargaining. I am a state employee of ten years and I rely on my union's negotiation for my family's wellbeing. My husband is a veteran and law enforcement officer, but I am the primary breadwinner for our family, including my two stepchildren ages 5 and 6 who live with us fulltime. Two years ago I was diagnosed with a carcinoid tumor and had 2/3 of my lung removed. Because of my unionnegotiated healthcare I did not face crippling medical debt, and we were still able to buy a home the following year. My job is thankless the majority of the time. I work to rehabilitate the offender population sentenced to community supervision; I hear about some of the most horrific experiences that you couldn't even imagine, things that either were done to the offenders I work with or that they did to someone else. I help them get into drug or alcohol treatment, therapy, gain employment skills, learn to manage anger, and I make sure they follow through on these things so they can get better and become productive citizens, making our communities safer rather than perpetuating a cycle of victimization. I go into their homes to make sure they're safe and supportive of positive behaviors. When an offender isn't following through or is jeopardizing someone else's or their own safety, I contact the court so action can be taken to keep everyone safe and accountable. I have to balance the safety of our community with the rehabilitation of the offender, which at times can be conflicting concepts. I have to make tough choices on when to recommend incarceration vs. treatment, where someone can or cannot live or who they can or cannot spend time with. A lot of people get angry with me, I've been threatened. I've changed personal habits and routines because of my job. At times I'm overwhelmed because the offenders keep coming and I fear that one will slip through and hurt someone. The work I do is so important and fulfilling when we do get those positive outcomes that it makes the stress worth it. I feel very privileged to do the work that I do. However there is a cost. Up until this point, the satisfaction of the job knowing I keep others safe coupled with the benefits has been enough to make it worth it. I'm worried that with this proposed legislation, that will no longer be the case.My seniority would mean nothing. No one would be advocating for me but myself when it comes to raises and insurance and vacation and the plethora of things the union tackles for us, and really based on this legislation what I could advocate for is severely limited. I would be an atwill employee, which quite frankly terrifies me. I could make good money in the private sector with my skill set but I value the stability of state employment. I have a mortgage and I have children to support. If the state is in a budget crunch, the majority of our costs are salaries, there is nothing that would stop me from being let go because I am nearly at the top of my pay scale. Regardless of how good of work I do (and I am very good at my job), it might not matter and I would have zero protection. That's how it works in the private sector and that was not the type of risk I was wanting to take when I was seeking out a career. I chose to be a state employee in part because of the stability it offered for my future.The results of this legislation could truly devastate my family. Collective bargaining is a fair way to negotiate. I'm sorry to say this but the state is not always a responsible or ethical employer. I've had a supervisor tell me to "make up" a felony discharge report, or others ignore bullying behavior. Workers still need union protections and rely on union negotiations. Chapter 20 is important to hardworking families like my own, and it protects our livelihood. Please do not gut it in this way. We work so hard to keep you safe and this is a slap in the face.
02-12-2017
Andrea Severson []
CON
A welleducated public is good for our society as a whole. Quality education requires quality educators, and our state will lose them if we do not support them. The proposed legislation suggests that our state does not value educators enough to give them any meaningful voice at the collective bargaining table. This legislation undermines the important work of our teachers. It does not help students. It is not in the best interest of Iowa's future. On behalf of my children and the thousands of other students in our state who would be negatively impacted, I respectfully ask that this legislation be rejected.
02-12-2017
Billie McKeag [Action Iowa]
CON
Worst possible thing that can be done to our already sinking education system, taking away collective bargaining will DESTROY the state of Iowa's future. We have a teacher shortage now, this will only cement the future. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE AWAY OUR TEACHERS/STATE WORKERS RIGHTS! Thank you for taking the time to hopefully read this, as well as others.
02-12-2017
Casandra lehman []
CON
Just how awful are public employees that you feel the need to do this? You are publicly implying that government run offices are staffed by imbeciles and lazy employees. The only offices I see this in, are the ones with bad managers, and those are the people you need to be concerned with. This bill will not bring better employees to the public sector but rather discourage them since better opportunities can be found in other states. Iowa has encouraged youth to remain in this state or return after college but with poor wages and benefits they will move on. The people of Iowa are valued by other states due to their great work ethics and can easily obtain employment in public offices. I have been an independent voter for years but will now vote a straight democratic ticket in all future elections. I have become enlightened by this bill and the Republican Party I can no longer keep an open mind. I recognize the true reasons behind the bill and the main supporters of the bill. I urge you for the sake of your own political careers to take the high road this time and vote no.
02-12-2017
Louise Barwacz []
CON
I am opposed to this bill as I see nothing but negative consequences resulting from its proposed changes. We will water down, erode, and lose the employees, educators, medical personnel, public service people, etc who provide Iowa residents with their dedication, education, and commitment. We owe these people and ourselves the benefits we all receive from their standards and knowledge and not shoot ourselves in the foot by denying them the tools and ability to keep our state a place they will want to remain in but also a state we can all benefit from living in. We should not only do enough to retain and reward the level of excellence we all desire, we should least of all open the door for them to leave or give us sublevel services after they're totally discouraged. I implore you to vote against this bill!
02-13-2017
Samantha Kemp Carlin []
CON
At the time of leaving this comment, I can count on one hand the number of comments/signups in favor of HF 291. The overwhelming response in opposition to this bill demonstrates that the people of Iowa want their representatives in government to protect worker's rights. I urge all legislators to reject any changes to public sector collective bargaining, or the rights of Iowa workers. Strong unions make Iowa stronger and when the rights of any worker is under attack, all working families are under attack. I expect legislators to represent and protect their constituents rather than those of the 1% and out of state special interest groups. Please oppose HF 291 to protect your constituents.
02-13-2017
Susan Besemer-Roberts [n/a]
CON
I am a resident and voter in Iowa. I am not nor have I ever been a member of a union, however I do NOT agree with the changes you want to implement that impact the state unions. The opportunity to negotiate health benefits already exists. Play fair! Don't change/stack the rules because you didn't win a particular game. If you remember as kids when someone played a power move like that, players left the game and no longer would engage. It is a delicate balance and we have that now. Please respect our important teachers, state employees, etc that are in these unions and play fair. Please listen to all Iowa consituents not just those of one party. You represent us all.Tax breaks for incoming business is important however not at the expense of our existing Iowans livelihood. Thank you for the opportunity to add my comments here.
02-13-2017
Ann Gerdes-Dornack [AFSCME ]
CON
I am a Mental health worker at Cherokee Mental Health and I work with murderers, sexual offernders, those with PTSD, kids with abuse, etc. Myself along with my coworkers have been bitten, spit on, assaulted, kicked, choked, and screamed at. We go to work knowing we have rights and take care of our patients. What's going to happen to mental health, our patients, if our rights are taken away? COLLECTIVE BARGAINING WORKS and has for over 40 years. Vote NO to changing Chapter 20! #IowaRightsMatter.
02-13-2017
Mary Lee Madison []
CON
I think the revisions included in this bill are mean spirited and won't permit a fair and just working environment. The bill affects all the public workers who care for our most important concerns (our children, public safety and environmental welfare)We are already losing good teachers to other career opportunities. This legislation will do nothing to help retain them. Know one wants to work in a job where they can be suspended or discharged without proper cause and without a written statement of underlying cause and statement of facts involved in the suspension or discharge. This legislation attempts to fix something that isn't broken!Respectfully Mary Madison
02-13-2017
Steve Radloff [Law Enforcement]
CON
I am a member of management and I am even opposed to this bill. Look at all these comments and the content of them. How many do you see that are "PRO" or in favor? Listen to your constituents and your conscience. You know this is wrong and the way the Republicans went about crafting this bill was sneaky and cowardly. Treat us with respect, as we are your friends, neighbors, colleagues. The 180,000+ public workers in this state deserve better treatment than this. Look at all the lives we touch, every single day. We are teachers, medical workers, corrections officers, fire fighters, truck drivers, plow drivers, police officer, troopers, deputy sheriff's, professors, maintenance workers, human service workers, judicial employees, conservation officers, clerical staff, road crews...we are the backbone of this state, the workers that keep it running. I am beside myself and simply appalled knowing there are people "leading" this state and making decisions for our future that think for a moment that this is fair and an appropriate way to treat those of us that work so hard. You should be ashamed.
02-13-2017
Rebecca Bryan [HCMS]
CON
I wish now that I had never moved to Iowa. I am stunned that the state with the highest graduation rate in the nation, and aboveaverage ACT scores is, instead of rewarding their teachers, gutting their rights. Do legislators not understand the longterm implications of their actions? By eliminating job security for teachers, they are discouraging quality people from entering the field. Because of the stressful conditions many teachers work in, not to mention chronic budget cuts, it is already hard for schools to attract and keep the best and the brightest. After teaching for fifteen years and earning my masters degree in a highdemand field, I am ready to move away from this state. My children will only grow up once, and I do not want their future to be compromised. I have friends and family in Wisconsin and Indiana who report the impact of similar actions there have been disastrous. Can you honestly justify compensating for your failed economic policies by shortchanging children? I am so disheartened by politicians scapegoating educators, I may leave teaching altogether.
02-13-2017
Buffy S Quintero []
CON
Why was this bill put together without input from those who it affects most? Who is supporting this bill? I really believe this is NOT what most Iowans want. I pay dues to be able to negotiate on things like health benefits, personal leave, and working conditions. I don't understand how I am such a burden and expense on the state of Iowa as a public school teacher. I thought I was helping make our state stronger by educating our children. What is the rush in trying to pass the bill so fast without answering the questions of those you are affecting. Please reconsider getting more input from those affected by the bill before voting on it. Thank you for your consideration.
02-13-2017
Carole Pinney []
CON
I taught school in Burlington, Iowa for 43 years and I find your support of this bill to be very detrimental to Iowa's public employees. Surely, you can see how this will impact the lives of so many.
02-13-2017
Elizabeth Thurston [Action Iowa]
CON
Iowa has an excellent education history. This bill is a way to strip salary and benefits away from teachers. Teachers are already underpaid when compared to other professions with similar education requirements. A better way to thank teachers for their excellence in education, wanting the best for our sons and daughters, and keeping the best minds in Iowa is to allow teachers to negotiate for their livelihoods.
02-13-2017
Dana Hamilton []
CON
I oppose the Chapter 20 bill that hurt our kids, the working force and leave us voiceless.
02-13-2017
Michelle Modlin [ISEA]
CON
Leave collective bargaining in Iowa! Collective bargaining in Iowa guarantees that administrations and members/employees reach fair and beneficial agreements on working conditions, responsibilities, wages and compensation. This system creates benifts for both sides. Vote to keep collective bargaining in Iowa!
02-13-2017
barb griffin [clive democrat]
CON
Public workers, especially teachers and first responders and mental health professionals are the most important workers. They deserve improved benefits and more $.
02-13-2017
Jim Trepka [Mr.]
CON
I moved to this state 23 years ago and chose to raise my family here because of Iowa's strong public education system. I have been incredibly pleased with the public education that my children have received. This bill will result in a decay of public education in the state. Talented people will choose not to go into education since they will realize that they will never be able to receive any increase in their starting salary after accounting for inflation (lesser of 3% or inflation for the Midwest region). Iowa is a right to work state. The majorities of educators already choose to be in their association. This bill is written to kill membership in education associations. Who will advocate for strong public education if not education associations?
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
This bill will make it impossible to hire and retain quality public service employees. The cost to taxpayers will be immeasurable.
02-13-2017
Bob Uetz []
CON
We have a law that took two years of work and compromise to craft, was passed with bipartisan support, and signed by a popular Republican governor. How is it anything but petty partisanship to ram through this socalled modernization?"
02-13-2017
Jenna Pressley []
CON
I'm opposed to this legislation.
02-13-2017
Becki Woodson [Linn County]
CON
Do not pass this bill. You will destroy the teachers and government workers in Iowa. The turnover will become much larger and knowledge will be lost. There will be NO incentives for good employees to stay.
02-13-2017
Amanda Short [None]
CON
This bill is a slap in the face of our civil servants and I'm ashamed that it's being done in our name. Please don't do this.
02-13-2017
Megan Geha Dake []
CON
I am a special Education Teacher at Des Moines East High School. I love my job. I love my students. I love teaching in Des Moines. Because of the benefits that we have gotten through collective bargaining, my husband is able to stay home during the week with our infant son and just work in the weekends. This is mostly due to the great health insurance that we get in our district. If we lose collective bargaining, we will most likely lose this as well as many other benefits. I don't want to quit teaching. I don't want to leave my kids. But if this bill passes, I might have to and that breaks my heart. Please vote against this bill and undoing so, you will be voting for the rights of thousands of public employees in this state. Do it for us, but most importantly, do it for the children. Do it for your children.
02-13-2017
SueAnn Morrow []
CON
This bill is ill thoughtout and can be quite damaging! I urge everyone to vote against it! Terrible terrible terrible!
02-13-2017
Anonymous [NA]
CON
Please do not move forward with this bill, this snot good for Iowa workers or Iowa's economy. Please look at what this has done in other states, created shortages in teachers and other workers and affect the quality of schools. Public employees do not get overpaid, and there is no big problem that needs solving, put people fist for once!
02-13-2017
Julia Franklin []
CON
Vote NO. Reform is not needed here, but it is needed to get those unregulated corporate tax cuts in hand to avoid another deficit. Iowa public workers need to have voices, representation and due process. People need advocates so don't strip these rights.
02-13-2017
Kim Jones [Concerned citizen ]
CON
Against the bill and everything this new administration is doing for education
02-13-2017
Karl Althaus []
CON
HF291 is a terrible idea. It is an attack on working people and their families. This bill isn't about making Iowa a better place to live, it is about pushing through a billionaire agenda "because they can." If this bill makes it into law, I can safely say I will never vote for a Republican.
02-13-2017
Lizabeth Fox []
CON
I have been a public school teacher for 29 years the last 15 in Iowa. In my tenure here in the great state of Iowa, I have seen powerful efforts made to increase the effectiveness of teachers so that ALL students have the best teacher possible in their corner. Two notable examples include the support for National Board Certification, a rigorous process that has proven to help teachers become more effective, and the Teacher Leadership and Compensation Grant initiative which has resulted in the availability of instructional coaches and other teacher leaders to help polish our practice even further. I have taken advantage of both of these to become the best teacher I can be for my students. It is with profound dismay and disappointment that I process the possible consequences of the passing of HF 291. I am a proud member of the Decorah Education Association, the ISEA, and the NEA. (I even teach courses through the ISEA academy to help other teachers become more effective. I have seen the good work and positive relationship that has come from the mutual respect our negotiators and school district representatives have for each other. This positive relationship has increased morale and has given both sides a voice and a clear understanding of the conditions of employment. Our contract supports clear communication for BOTH sides, and it is derived from a shared agreement of what is possible based on funding and other considerations. There is no solid reason for passing this bill. It will not save the taxpayers any money. It will not improve education for our students. Iowa has had a long history of excellent schools and educators, and I've seen funding reduced while my class sizes grow. Passing this bill is a slap in the face to every educator in this state. We are professionals who take our role of educating every student very seriously (and systems are in place for those who don't, providing administrators do their job). Please do not pass this bill. Excellent education has always been an Iowa basic. Let's keep it that way. Thank you. Lizabeth Fox, NBCT
02-13-2017
Duane Matthess [None]
CON
I think it is downright shameful how the politicians who support this bill are pitting union workers against other union workers because you deem one more dangerous than another. Collective bargaining has worked in our state for decades without issue why are you trying to dismantle it?! Voters and Iowa workers will not forget this when it comes time to vote in the next election, listen to your constituents!
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
Iowa teachers deserve to be protected with collective bargaining. Your children and grandchildrens'future depends on it. This is going to lessen the number of quality teachers in our state.
02-13-2017
Jana [Morris]
CON
"Where collective bargaining is forbidden, freedom is lost" ReganI am concerned with the direction of this republican legislature. And the future of Iowa schools. My mom moved us to this great state in 1985 because of these great schools. This decision directly effects my life as a teacher, a parent and an Iowan. Never is the time to silence teacher voices.
02-13-2017
Adrian McLaughlin [Public school teacher]
CON
I am strongly opposed to this bill as it seems an underhanded way for legislators to remove everything they dislike about unions while leaving workers with no right to disagree and no right to be heard. I am proud to serve in Iowa's public schools... I love my students and my job. I am very discouraged by this bill's failure to honor and protect the rights of public servants.
02-13-2017
Janis Strong []
CON
Have you done your research? How has this worked for Wisconsin? What are the unintended consequences of this bill? You are going to lose qualified young people and experienced teachers. This will negatively impact student learning and progress. Outside forces are pressuring you to do this. Is this what we want for the state of Iowa? Is this what you want as your legacy as a legislator? Just remember, teachers and union workers vote, too.
02-13-2017
Julia Rendon [citizen]
CON
Please do not pass this bill. State workers need to be able to bargain for more than just wages. This bill undermines the wellbeing of our public servants.
02-13-2017
Anonymous [West Des Moines Community Schools]
CON
Chapter 20 is a good for all parties involved: administration, teachers, and students. The changes proposed will cripple our schools' ability to find and keep good teachers. Vote no.
02-13-2017
Reagan Butler []
CON
We value our public servants and we should continue to show them by supporting their collective bargaining rights. Yes, RIGHTS.
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I support our teachers and believe collective bargaining is essential for them to have a voice.
02-13-2017
Rita McCord [Private citizen]
CON
I am a teacher. As the daughter of an Italian immigrant who came over on a boat and was treated poorly in school due to a lack of resources for English Language Learners, I was the first of my grandparents' 9 granddaughters to receive a four year degree. The degree was hard earned through a fierce Italian stubborn streak, Pell grants, my husband's support, and a public education system that improved from my mother's time. Without the k12 education I received, I wouldn't have learned what my strengths and talents were. I wouldn't have had the literacy necessary to navigate the financial aid paperwork and admissions papaerwork that my mother couldn't. I wouldn't be in graduate school at this moment. Now, there is a spit in the face of my personal story of triumph. Apparently I am no longer deemed good enough to be awarded the rights I have received for the past thirteen years as an educator in Cedar Rapids. The hope offered to me is fading into a beautiful distant dreamlike memory. How can I look my students in the face and be certain that they can rise up with the same chances at upward mobility that I had? Students in poverty, as I once was. Students learning English as my mother once was. Lastly, on a personal note, my mother lived to see me graduate from college and making a good career as a teacher before she died of breast cancer at age 62. She was so proud of me. It is in honor of her that I have been diligently seeking a masters degree. A degree which, I suspect, will no longer be awarded with the pay deserving of its status. I am the mother of two Korean adoptees and see no reason to continue to sink my family's money into being the first daughter and granddaughter of immigrants to earn a masters, unless these rights might somehow be preserved. The system which created a beautiful legacy for me can be maintained to create multiple legacies of success for our children, but that depends on you. It depends on voting your conscience and understanding this isn't providing greater local control, but destroying it down to the very individuals that we are as teachers.
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I urge you to vote NO on Chapter 20 changes. As the Iowa Policy Project has said (link), these changes to 119,000 working Iowans lives would:Cost the taxpayers substantial amounts of moneyCreate more red tape in governmentDecrease accountabilityLower Iowans wagesAccelerate brain drainIncrease income inequalityDisproportionately hurt rural areas of IowaWiden the gender pay gapCause staff shortages in education and in health careAs the Labor Center has noted (link), the current bargaining law, Chapter 20, was a carefullycrafted compromise based on input from labor, legislators, and the public that has worked well for over 40 years. The current bill was designed behind closed doors without public input or discussion. There is no reason to rush through drastic changes to the law that would hurt Iowans.
02-13-2017
William Morris [DMPS]
CON
It sadens me to know the state I love doesn't love me back. What have I done to deseve this but give more than my all on a daily bases. My wife and I are both educators but for how long?
02-13-2017
Traca Waddell [WCV schools]
CON
This bill is not telling the truth to the public about what collective bargaining means to those of us who have a lower income in order to serve the public. By making public employees pay more for health care you will not save districts more money. I have a family plan through my district and I pay $971 monthly for health care. It is not free. More public employees will leave and go to the public sector as we won't be able to afford to teach. With a meager amount given to education already my out of pocket expenses will increase because our district will have less to spend on supplies. Collective bargaining came about because there was a need to make it fair for both sides of the table. Stop hurting education!
02-13-2017
Lonny Morrow [Retired]
CON
This is another example of people of privilege behaving to increase their power and control over middle class workers. Their logic is very flawed. They want local control except when it is not in their best interests. I believe it will take civil disobedience to get the Republican legislators attention.
02-13-2017
David Musser [Parent of school aged kids.]
CON
This bill will cause undue job insecurity and stress on Iowa Teachers, the people we entrust our kids with for most of every day. It can not help but have a negative impact on the classroom and cause high turn over rates as Teachers flee the State or the Profession altogether. I want my kids to come first, and the only way to achieve that is to support the Teachers that nurture them and help them learn. Teachers worrying about their health and job security will not be able to give their all, like they do today.
02-13-2017
Rita McCord [Private citizen]
CON
I am a teacher in opposition to this legislation. As the daughter of an Italian immigrant who came over on a boat and was treated poorly in school due to a lack of resources for English Language Learners, I was the first of my grandparents' 9 granddaughters to receive a four year degree. The degree was hard earned through a fierce Italian stubborn streak, Pell grants, my husband's support, and a public education system that improved from my mother's time. Without the k12 education I received, I wouldn't have learned what my strengths and talents were. I wouldn't have had the literacy necessary to navigate the financial aid paperwork and admissions papaerwork that my mother couldn't. I wouldn't be in graduate school at this moment. Now, there is a spit in the face of my personal story of triumph. Apparently I am no longer deemed good enough to be awarded the rights I have received for the past thirteen years as an educator in Cedar Rapids. The hope offered to me is fading into a beautiful distant dreamlike memory. How can I look my students in the face and be certain that they can rise up with the same chances at upward mobility that I had? Students in poverty, as I once was. Students learning English, as my mother once was. Lastly, on a personal note, my mother lived to see me graduate from college and making a good career as a teacher before she died of breast cancer at age 62. She was so proud of me. It is in honor of her that I have been diligently seeking a masters degree. A degree which, I suspect, will no longer be awarded with the pay deserving of its status. I am the mother of two Korean adoptees and see no reason to continue to sink my family's money into being the first daughter and granddaughter of immigrants to earn a masters, unless these rights might somehow be preserved. The system which created a beautiful legacy for me can be maintained to create multiple legacies of success for our children, but that depends on you. It depends on voting your conscience and understanding this isn't providing greater local control, but destroying it down to the very individuals that we are as teachers.
02-13-2017
Lynn Thompson []
CON
This bill will drastically cut all the mutually negotiated benefits over the past 40 years for public service employees. It will reduce rural schools ability to recruit and retain the most qualified employees. It does not level the playing field, it removes the public worker from a place on the field. If there are changes that need to be made, slow down the process and have some discussion and true review.
02-13-2017
Anonymous [self]
CON
I urge you to not vote for the changes in collective bargaining rights for public employees. I am particularly concerned where it concerns our teachers. I am proud to support their voice. They teach for the love of the children and their future. They work hard AND long hours before and after the bells ring to be the best for YOUR child. They often use their own money for supplies. Still, they continue. These are warriors that need our support and shown their value. Please do not vote for these changes.
02-13-2017
Marnie Strate [Na ]
CON
Please do NOT strip our teachers and other public employees of their collective bargaining rights. They are some of the most important members of our society and they deserve a voice.
02-13-2017
Anonymous [Waterloo Community Schools]
CON
Please make the right choice for our state's children. Without the benefits that collective bargaining gives teachers, it will be very hard to keep the best teachers in Iowa. We will see a high turn over rate in the profession inn the state which is not good for children!!
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
This is not only an attack on teachers, this is an attack on our children. A teacher's working conditions are the very conditions our children learn in. Collective bargaining has a direct and positive effect on student learning and teaching longevity. We need to be able to recruit strong teachers. We can't do that unless we can offer them a safe and protected and honorable profession and future! VOTE NO!
02-13-2017
James K Jordan []
CON
I am absolutely against this bill. It has been said it somehow "restores" control to local officials. This is plainly just an excuse to attack unions and collective bargaining. Local boards have control now. That is why it is called bargaining. Two sides with mutual interests the education of all of our children. Let it be known anyone who supports and votes for this bill is attacking workers and teachers and school districts and children. A "yes" vote for this bill is a vote against our state and our people. Vote NO!
02-13-2017
Sue Herman []
CON
Stop this bill. We need highly qualified public workers in Iowa.
02-13-2017
Andrea Homstad []
CON
I strongly oppose this bill because it would create unreasonable working conditions for public employees. This would result in harm to most communities, families and children. It would significantly harm the cooperation, respect and sense of justice that I have come to appreciate as an Iowa resident for 40 of my 64 years.
02-13-2017
Curt Larkin [JCSD]
CON
So far, I've not seen ANY evidence as to how this will help education and/or the schools. And I have NOT seen any "majority" evidence of constituents being in favor of this. The logic then proves this is purely political and NOT in the best interest of our state, our schools, or our teachers. Shame on the Republican party for conning the public into thinking this is for "them".
02-13-2017
Josefa Poppen []
CON
I am not in favor of this bill! The consequences of removing collective bargaining rights from public employees will be detrimental to ALL citizens of Iowa, not simply the employees and their families. STOP! Evaluate the goals of what this bill HOPES to achieve. Is that of greater importance and value to the citizens of Iowa? I don't think so. I hear many voices like mine, are you listening?Most sincerely,Josie Poppen,
02-13-2017
Jana wittenberg []
CON
The proposed changes will negatively impact the quality of services that state citizens receive by taking away safeguards that have ensured a quality state public workforce.
02-13-2017
Amber Graeber [Des Moines]
CON
This bill hurts middleclass workers across the state. There will be an undue burden on rural school districts if this goes through. We already have a hard time finding highly qualified teachers in many schools. If you take away teachers' voices, people will leave the profession and will move to other states. Teachers can be heard in Minnesota and Illinois our neighbors to the north and east. If this bill passes, please know that we will all remember in two years. This will not be forgotten. Listen to your constituents and here there pleas.
02-13-2017
Kimberly Rowell [PEI]
CON
Please, please leave the right of having and choosing to be in a union, the that men have died for legal in our great state of Iowa!
02-13-2017
Anonymous [Na]
CON
I support teachers AND I support their rights to collectively bargain!,,
02-13-2017
Helen Lewis [Western Iowa Tech Community College Education Association]
CON
I ask you to oppose HF 291/SF 213 for altering a system that has worked in Iowa since 1974 to provide a means for labor and management to discuss concerns and solutions in the workplace. A Council Bluffs legislator said that the overhauling of Chapter 20 has resulted from 16,000 state employees whom the Governor feels pay too little for their health insurance. Then why penalize and put at risk the remaining 164,000 skilled and professional workers in Iowa who have compromised heavily on salary in exchange for health insurance? Why remove insurance from the mandatory topics because the state wants to put into place a statewide insurance system whom no one knows will work to provide services. Another legislator claimed that management could still bargain the permissive topics, the current list of permissive topics, if they choose, but my college Board of Trustees has refused outright to discuss permissive topics; the proposed changes to Chapter 20 mean a much lesser voice at the table for faculty and staff. Another legislator referred to school districts he knows in which the bargaining has proceeded as usual despite the current turmoil, but my college Board has put negotiations on hold while awaiting the extent of the proposed changes to weaken the voice of faculty and staff. My local, like many others, has consistently settled for less salary in order to protect our health insurance. The benefits allow faculty to accept the lowerpaying teaching positions rather than return to industry and business because they want to prepare Iowa's current and future workforce; they want to fill Iowa's need for highly skilled workers, such as healthcare workers, welders, police officers, teachers, construction workers, plumbers, social workers, so that the graduates can obtain wellpaying jobs in Iowa. The working graduates then become Iowa taxpayers and consumers. But losing a voice to discuss the few current mandatory topics at the table, facing the risk of major changes to the health insurance, will drive employees out of the public sector, taking their knowledge, skills, and experience out of the community colleges and other workplaces. Collective bargaining allows both sides to discuss the mandatory topics to improve working conditions to the benefit of management, labor, and the populations served; collective bargaining offers no guarantees that labor will receive what it proposes at the table, just an opportunity to have a voice, to experience a democratic moment in the workplace. Reducing Chapter 20 does push Iowa backwards to pre1974 conditions. Oppose HF 291/SF213.
02-13-2017
Nicole Conrad [taxpayer/citizen/constituent ]
CON
Question for our GOP Iowa State Senate and House of Representatives: Do you not know that unionbusting is specifically written into the 2016 Iowa Republican Party platform, or are you purposefully choosing not to acknowledge this when communicating to constituents/taxpayers?"We call for legislation that would eliminate all public sector unions."https://www.iowagop.org/about/platform/
02-13-2017
Gary M Schriver []
CON
Although I am not a union member, I am an ordinary Iowa citizen, I do back the right of union members to collectively bargain on all matters. If those rights are taken away from those who wish to improve the lives of themselves and their families, how can you guarantee us that you will not take away more of our rights in the future? I have heard that this bill is allowing unions only to negotiate basic salary issues; well, there is more to life than basic salaries and taking away negotiating policies for union members affects everyone in the community. Therefore as an ordinary citizen, and the child of a family that was headed by the breadwinner that spent 33 years as a police officer; I am totally against what you plan to do to Chapter 20 in the Iowa legislature. Thank you!
02-13-2017
Jason Danielson []
CON
Please do not do this damage to our collective bargaining rights. Please do not take away our voice. Look to Wisconsin for evidence of the dangers of this bill. Do what is right for our students and please vote no on this bill.
02-13-2017
John Kotz [Waukee Community Schools]
CON
The dismantling of Chapter 20 Collective Bargaining should not be a partisan issue. Please allow time to process the ramifications that will result with the proposed changes to collective bargaining for state workers. If representatives truly care about education in Iowa, time will be allowed for everyone to read the bills and then decide if all proposals are best for our state. Don't rush something that involves the livelihoods of so many families. Taxpayers expect quality services snd education for their tax dollars. Don't ruin a good thing just for partisan sake or for changes sake.
02-13-2017
Katherine Halbur []
CON
The idea that we as a state that has for years prides ourselves on being the top in education khigher education would even think this is okay is deeply concerning. I am also a former teacher that had to get out of teacher due to cuts to my program and cuts such a as these that were inevitable with current administration at the helm. I'm sadden for our state and for the children that are the ones that will suffer in the end. If our goal is to be in the top 25% for least educationed states, mazel, we'll be there soon.
02-13-2017
Gail R Klearman [None]
CON
I am originally from Missouri. When my husband and I moved to Iowa 25 years ago, we were attracted to the high quality of Iowa's public schools. My kids, who are now in college, greatly benefited from that high quality, and they are now pursuing degrees in computer science and mechanical engineering. Please don't destroy our schools with union busting ploys that hurt Iowa and Iowa's families. Our teachers, and all hard working public employees, deserve better.
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
This legislation will not attract and retain teachers to the profession thus harming students.Women make up the largest percentage of teachers; therefore this legislation negatively impacts women. Whyshouldnt women be able to collectively negotiate for insurance, evaluation, etc.?The bill completely removes educator voices the ones closest to the classroom from the decisions being made. Negotiations are not just about wages, they are about decisions made that affect our students. This bill eliminates any discussion about those decisions.Where are the cost saving measures in the bill and where does this give more local control to our communities? Educators and other employees have been stripped of control and local school boards are not allowed to discuss most topics with those in the classroom.This bill will cause a ripple effect hitting our rural communities hardest. How will we attract and retain the best and brightest in our profession with no voice in their profession and no incentives to move to harder to fill areas?
02-13-2017
Linda Matheis []
CON
We need to be protected so we can support our students without fear of reprisal.
02-13-2017
Tracey Paris [Southeast Polk CSD]
CON
Iowa needs strong public schools. Destroying collective bargaining will lead to further demoralizing teachers. States that do not have collective bargaining do not have schools that are as successful. Look at what has happened in Wisconsin!
02-13-2017
Patsy Martinson []
CON
We're looking for big turnout at this weekend's legislative forums. You can find a list here."The bill completely removes educator voices the ones closest to the classroom from the decisions being made. Negotiations are not just about wages, they are about decisions made that affect our students. Why would you eliminate any discussion about those decisions?""Where are the cost saving measures in the bill and where does this give more local control to our communities? Educators and other employees have been stripped of control and local school boards are not allowed to discuss most topics with those in the classroom.""This bill will cause a ripple effect hitting our rural communities hardest. How will we attract and retain the best and brightest in our profession with no voice in their profession and no incentives to move to harder to fill areas?"
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
Dear Senators and Representatives,My name is Nathan Rodemeyer, and I am a high school social studies teacher in Williamsburg, Iowa. I am writing to please urge you to vote no on HF 293/SF 213. This file stands to strip Iowa public employees of their union rights and protections, specifically gutting our ability to argue for livable wage increases and advocate for our healthcare needs. As a teacher, I spend dozens of hours each week outside of my contracted hours and hundreds of dollars of my own money each school year to best serve my students and my community. The pay isn't luxurious and the benefits are not glamorous, despite some popular opinions to the contrary. Having union representation allows me, my colleagues, and thousands of teachers around our wonderful state to keep our heads above water and to continue to do the best for our kids. It also doesn't cost the state anything as teachers pay their own union dues and keep the unions afloat with their own contributions.We are not asking for huge pay increases or unreasonable coverage, just what we need to continue to get by and to not dissuade young people from entering the profession. Without reasonable pay, teachers will not be able to afford to teach, especially if they are young educators paying off school loans, home loans, cars, and all of the other costs that come with adulthood. And, without healthcare provided by a school district, teachers will have to look at third party alternatives that will cost teachers even more out of pocket, effectively cutting their pay by adding/increasing healthcare into their monthly costs. This legislation, if passed, will do exactly that. I have personally witnessed several testimonies this week from prospective teachers around the state who are terrified of entering the profession, and several who are considering abandoning lifelong dreams because they are not sure it will be a viable, affordable option for them if they become teachers. I have also heard from teachers with experience in Wisconsin, as well as read up on how Act 10 impacted the public school system in Wisconsin, and it isn't good. This bill is very similar to Wisconsin's Act 10, but with a few even scarier provisions. Please, please think of the state's teachers and the future of our children. The vast majority of students in Iowa receive a public education and cannot afford or do not have the option of attending private schools. Do not take a system that is already being bled dry and force it to do even more with even less. Our teachers, our students, our hardworking Iowan families are all depending on this. On the Iowa state quarter, minted in 2004, it says the phrase "Foundation in Education" along with an image of a one room schoolhouse in rural Iowa. I was proud as a teenager to see that as the emblem of our state, and it felt so true to our legacy. Please do not dismantle that legacy by allowing special interests and billionaires like the Koch brothers to buy your votes and your consciences. Please don't send the message to Iowa children and families that you do not care about their education and their future.If you would like more information on the negative effects that Act 10 has had on the state of Wisconsin, please look at the information presented in this link and its subsequent pages. This is solid, reputable data collected since 2011 that discusses the way that Act 10 has pushed teachers out of the state, lowered student achievement, and tied teachers' hands behind their backs.Please, PLEASE vote no on this legislation.Thank you for your time, and your service to the state of Iowa,A concerned teacher and Iowan
02-13-2017
Cathy Pearson [AFSCME Local 2659]
CON
If you are going to dismantle Chapter 20 why are specific groups I.e. Public Safety group excluded and still entitled to certain parts of the chapter to cover them. Is that not a form of discrimination?
02-13-2017
Jenifer Aman []
CON
I have taught seventh grade for 21 years. I love my students and work so hard to help them achieve and succeed. Our classes are getting larger, the demands on us are growing, and it can get overwhelming. As we work harder and harder, our pay does not grow, we are undervalued, and now our state government wants to take away our voice. It is unfair, offensive, and will discourage hard working thinkers from the teaching profession. Next year I'm going to have to teach twice as many standards (combing English and reading into one class due to budget), personalize lessons for level one and two sped students, TAG students, and ESL students, lose my team time, teach classes of 3540, and teach a sixth period class outside of my grade level. This is too much for one individual to do well, thus we're being set up to fail. I want to be able to feel good about the work I do, and I want to be supported by my community and government. Fund public education. Allow teachers to have a voice.
02-13-2017
Ryan Strempke-Durgin [Kirkwood Community College]
CON
This bill will end up hurting Iowa's children in addition to educators because you will create a situation in which the best educators will no longer want to come to Iowa to teach. Please consider the long term chilling effects of this bill before passing it.
02-13-2017
Michelle Lester []
CON
I am a public school teacher in Indianola. Please vote NO to the collective bargaining bill that being pushed through. I cannot attend the public hearing tonight due to our district's ParentTeacher Conferences.Please listen to the countless others who are opposing this bill. Thank you for your consideration.
02-13-2017
Anonymous [Public School Teacher]
CON
Please, slow down. LISTEN to us. Show the rest of the state and the country that Republicans aren't just answering to corporate interest outside the state. Show us we can trust you to protect us. Listen to your fellow Democrats and wait to push this bill through. You have the numbers. There is no reason to push this through this week. Take a few months, and make it right. Listen to the stakeholders involved. For the sake of our children, slow down.
02-13-2017
Karen Halvorson []
CON
My name is Karen Halvorson and I am a teacher from Spencer. I am opposed to the collective bargaining bill because: 1) The bill completely removes educator voices the ones closest to the classroom from the decisions being made. Negotiations are not just about wages, they are about decisions made that affect our students. This bill eliminates any discussion about those decisions. 2) Where are the cost saving measures in the bill and where does this give more local control to our communities? Educators and other employees have been stripped of control and local school boards are not allowed to discuss most topics with those in the classroom. 3) This bill will cause a ripple effect hitting our rural communities hardest. How will we attract and retain the best and brightest in our profession with no voice in their profession and no incentives to move to harder to fill areas?Thank you for your consideration and for listening to those of us in the trenches everyday teachers, firefighters, police officers and other public employees.
02-13-2017
Timothy Mooney [Citizen]
CON
Why does the legislature want to lower teacher pay in Iowa? Because to take away collective bargaining is one thing that would clearly make that very possible.
02-13-2017
Dane Wilson [Attorney ]
CON
As a native Iowan, and proud civil servant, I think this bill is contrary to Iowans' best interests. I would not be in the position I am today without the public educators in Iowa, and my education would not have been off the same quality without the talented, dedicated people those jobs attracted. To strip them off their rights, while simultaneously disallowing them to protest under the 20.12 prohibitions is not only morally wrong, it is unAmerican.But this bill does more than affect educators, it effects the men and women who enforce laws and respond to our disasters. Do we not want to attract and retain the state's best and brightest? Do we not want them to feel safe in their careers when they provide us with safety in our homes and communities? And lastly, this is not only a moral issue, it is an economic oneboth for Iowan civil servants and those that rely on them for their livelihoods. Afterall, where would the Iowan farmer be without the county roadworker repairing their bridges and maintaining their country roads. Do we not want to protect the livelihood of farmers, and thus the state's economic interests? This bill is truly in opposition to Iowans' best interests. And unless this legislature upholds their constituents' best interests, their constituents will be in opposition to them.
02-13-2017
Anonymous [Pekin Community School]
CON
NO
02-13-2017
Jill Lyman [Sioux City Community School District]
CON
No matter what happens with this bill, you have officially diminished our feelings of support and worth. I'm disappointed that this even became an option. If it is better healthcare that you want to provide for us then at least have those plans in order before ripping our options away from us. Include that in the ability for the union to bargain. Or solely take that out. Whatever the situation, why must our wages, work environment, and all else be stripped away leaving us with being nothing but a cog in your wheel.
02-13-2017
Anonymous [no organization]
CON
I am opposed to any changes in collective bargaining as proposed. Teachers and public employees do hard work for our children and all the citizens of the state. Our schools and cities benefit from having engaged, informed, decently paid and wellqualified public servants. This legislation seeks to strip rights from hardworking people who deserve a voice in their working conditions, health insurance, retirement AND pay. They dedicate their lives to serving the public and we should not be attacking them now while pretending it's about saving money. How do our kids and our communities win with this kind of legislation? They don't.
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
Support our teachers like they support our children.
02-13-2017
Michael Shaw [First Unitarian Church of Des Moines]
CON
This bill devalues workers and will cause lasting damage to our kids future.An healthy system of employer/employee communication and collaboration already exists in Iowa. Don't tear this system apart.This bill will undermine public schools which are the foundation of our democratic way of life.My patriotism and my faith guide me to strongly oppose this bill.
02-13-2017
Rebecca P. Olafsen [Retired public school teacher]
CON
The bill as stated takes us backwards. The bill as stated does not improve schools. Teachers cannot negotiate AND they cannnot strike in the version to,be acted upon. Instead of keeping a process that teachers, administrators, and school boards have become comfortable with, you want to destroy it. Why do you want to eliminate a process that allows public employees and their employers to use facts and come to an equitable agreement? The current process allows for removal of "bad" teachers. It is up to "good" administrators to follow the process and remove them. Quit hiding behind this excuse.
02-13-2017
Brittney Burkett []
CON
HF 291 is not in the best interests of schools, teachers or their families. To approve this action would be to enact injustices in the workplace for civil servants. Protecting the liberties of educators and others who serve the community is essential to a bright future for the state of Iowa.
02-13-2017
Ryan Drew []
CON
I would like to ask the legislature to let 40 years of history speak for itself. The current proposed revisions to Chapter 20 will not save the taxpayers money, nor will it help recruit the best teachers for our youth. To gut the Chapter 20 regulations without giving the same employees the right to strike is diseatful and disrespectful. This was never a campaign promise or brought up at legislative debates. This can only leave the voters of Iowa with one question who's agenda is the Republican legislature advancing? We should be embracing the skilled workforce in Iowa not attacking it!
02-13-2017
Kathleen Ruhser []
CON
Gutting collective bargaining (and therefore breaking the ISEA) in the state of Iowa is just another way to undercut the teaching profession. As the system works now, teachers are willing to work together to solve problems because we know if one succeeds we all succeed. Without collective bargaining pay could be based on merit maybe test scores or popularity with administrators? Who will want to teach those students who can't or won't test at grade level? What teachers will share ideas that work in their classrooms? Who will stand up for those teachers who have to make hard decisions that might not be popular with either families, school board members or administrators but are nevertheless the right things to do? I have been in education for almost 40 years and I know the state of Iowa needs great teachers who feel they are appreciated. Gutting collective bargaining isn't the way to do that. Just look at what has been happening in Wisconsin yes, money has probably been saved but at what real cost? Please, for the sake of our children's education and our future as a state, vote no onHF 291.
02-13-2017
Gabrielle Smithman [Des Moines Public Schools]
CON
Public workers do work that is not supplemental, but necessary for the betterment of people, lives, and our country. To limit the ability of these workers to make a livable wage, have healthcare, and bargain for benefits that bring highly qualified peoples into these positions will be limiting Iowa's potential to grow the future leaders of the nation.Iowa has long prided itself on its exemplary education, and this education comes through having highly qualified teachers. With the enactment of this bill, we will driving these highly qualified individuals away from Iowa instead of fostering a workplace where they want to grow.
02-13-2017
Jenny Cooper [public school teacher]
CON
You are moving ahead on this bill TOO QUICKLY. Take MORE time for discussion discussion from both sides of the political parties, discussion from teachers, union workers, Iowa PEOPLE.There is NOTHING WRONG with the current bargaining process. Why all of a sudden and in a hurry do you need to change it? WHO IS PUSHING THIS BILL THROUGH?
02-13-2017
Jessica Jolly []
CON
This bill will have a negative effect on thousands of Iowans especially our children. Our public education system (once one of the best in the country) will be impacted terribly. Teachers work tirelessly and with great dedication to ensure that students succeed. They deserve a seat at the table.
02-13-2017
Katelyn Sproule [North Star Community Services]
CON
Collective bargaining and unions are necessary and beneficial to society, even for those who are not members of the society. It's not that unions are always right, they aren't. But neither are the positions or policies of large corporations, Republican or Democratic political parties. They provide an offset to extreme power in larger corporations. The government is supposed to listen to the the people. It doesn't it listens to wealth. If you take away collective bargaining from the public workers you are offsetting not only the power that institutions and even individuals can control over others. You are essentially putting our economy and the well being of the whole state in Jeopardy, by allowing only the rich to control the outcomes of our campaigns, the media and therefor, you are only promoting wealth inequality. Public workers represent the working class; they are the good people of Iowa that pay taxes that work weekends, that work holidays. It doesn't matter if you have what doubts, or how you feel about unions; they are the one thing we have the prevents the destruction of power of the business community. If the last 30 years as an American, or politician hasn't opened your eyes to this realization I don't know what will.
02-13-2017
Annette Baker [South Hardin High School]
CON
This bill will ensure a decline in the quality of people who choose to be teachers, firefighters, police, nurses, road workers. Wisconsin is proof of this having lost over 3000 teachers in the years following the passing of Act 10. There is also no reason for this bill; what problem is being solved? What public safety issue is being addressed? All of the "bad" teachers? There are over 34,000 teachers in Iowa; I rarely hear of a "bad" one. One out of 34,000 isn't a problem, it is anomaly. Passing this bill will destroy the infrastructure of small towns in Iowa. It is the teachers, firefighters, and police who volunteer to coach little league, to serve on town councils, school boards, and church committees. The teachers, firefighters, and police are the ones who shop at the grocery stores, buy cars, hire carpenters, get their oil changed, buy clothes, buy insurance, and borrow money banks. Disenfranchising these people, the very fabric of our state, will unravel the beautiful tapestry that is Iowa. Please, do not pull the thread.
02-13-2017
Matt Sprengeler []
CON
As a proud Iowan, I oppose this bill. Our state's public servants have earned the protections and the benefits they currently possess. HF291 is a misguided attack on Iowa's unions, on Iowa's public employees, on our parents and brothers and sisters and sons and daughters. I for one am happy to help pay the cost of their benefits they earn them every day. And in return, they make our state a better place. I ask our elected officials to reject this unwise piece of legislation. The people of Iowa will remember how you vote.
02-13-2017
Mary Phillips []
CON
This bill would set Iowa schools back, especially rural schools. An example of more Republican support of those that "have."
02-13-2017
Anonymous [Teacher]
CON
Supporting our public employees is vital for sustained educational growth. Our future lies within the educational process. The profession (teaching) is losing the respect of "some" public officials. Teachers live a modest life style. Teachers deserve nothing less than a fair salary and complete benefits.
02-13-2017
Louanne Williams []
CON
I am opposed to the passage of the collective bargaining bill. Please listen to your constituents and vote NO.
02-13-2017
Victoria Walton [Iowa resident]
CON
Iowa teachers deserve strong support through Iowa laws. Strengthen our Iowa schools by retaining collective bargaining and by designating increased state funding for Iowa public school districts, inclusive of improving Iowa public school teacher salaries and benefits. The bill proposed is shortsighted and will lessen quality education for Iowa students.
02-13-2017
Julie Faas [UE Local 893/IUP]
CON
This is a horrible "reward" to the 184,000 public employees covered by unions. This bill may appear to save money for the state and its political subdivisions, but it will also negatively impact our governments by reducing their ability to hire good employees.As a state employee, I am naturally concerned with any legislation that affects my ability to bargain for fair compensation. I am also concerned for other public employees: teachers, city employees, county employees, and others. I know there are people who believe that state employees are overcompensated after accounting for health insurance and other benefits. However, a study by the Iowa Policy Project shows otherwise. (http://www.iowapolicyproject.org/110222pubpvtpayxs.html) State public employee unions have traded wages for health benefits over the years. It is unreasonable to expect us to bargain for wages when we don't know what our health benefits will cost us.I object to the following specific items in the bill: Giving lesser bargaining rights to nonpublic safety employees. While I agree that law enforcement officers and firefighters have dangerous and important job, I believe the bargaining process adequately accounts for that. Allowing public employers to suspend or discharge employees without cause. Even lowlevel technical employees sometimes run up against political issues or businesses with undue influence in the state government. Allowing us to be fired without cause would allow others to pressure us away from correctly applying state and federal laws and regulations. The modifications to 20.9(3) in their entirety. Changing certification requirements from 10% of employees that vote to 30% of employees in the bargaining unit. This is a double whammy that greatly raises the bar for certification. Removing the requirement for arbitrators to consider the power of the public employer to levy taxes and appropriate funds. The prohibition on the arbitrator considering any evidence on subjects excluded from negotiations. If a union has evidence suggesting the state will raise our share of the health insurance premium (thereby reducing our wages by 25%), why shouldn't the arbitrator consider this? The prohibition on the arbitrator considering any past collective bargaining agreements. How do you expect an arbitrator to render a fair decision without knowing how we were compensated in the past? Elimination of the dues checkoff. What's the justification for this?I also object to the accelerated timeframe of this bill. You've been in session for a month. Why is this bill just coming out? I understand that current law requires contracts to be settled soon; however, the public has had less than a day to find out about the legislation, read it, understand it, and make it to a subcommittee meeting. I would think legislators and their staffs would also need more time. If Republicans supposedly have a mandate from voters to bust unions, then you've had since November 9th to develop the bill.I question Republican claims of widespread support of this bill. When I checked on Saturday morning, there were about 330 people signed up for the hearing; only 6 of those were registered "Pro". Subcommittee and committee meetings have been dominated by speakers against the bill. Even the floor managers of these bills have not presented much justification for the changes that are supposedly so necessary and urgent. I argue that those who propose changes to the law bear the burden to prove that the changes are necessary, rather than those against the law having to prove that the changes are unnecessary.As I said above, I am a state employee. After college, I worked at a Fortune 500 company for five years. I left that company to pursue a career in environmental protection. I now help to conserve and enhance waters of the state, which are the "public wealth of people of the state" (Iowa Code 455B.262(3)). I am good at my job; I am dedicated to my job. I would hate to leave it because I can no longer support myself with my compensation.
02-13-2017
Janice Coble [Taxpayer/citizen]
CON
This proposed change to collective bargaining is wrong on every level. I have deep respect for firefighters and law enforcement. But to create a lower class of employee for those who teach their children and are the dispatchers and office support who enable them to do their jobs is a disservice to all. And, please stop running duplicitous advertising to con the voters of Iowa. Follow the money. Shame on all who promote this greed by legislators.
02-13-2017
Charles Stanier [none - private citizen]
CON
I am writing to respectfully request that you vote NO on the collective bargaining reform legislation. I have never been involved in statehouse politics, and I am 44 years old. That is what a big deal this is to me. There are thousands of others like me. My reasons for this plea are: (1) the process is unfair and disrespectful of the citizenry due to the minimization of public input and the outsized influence of wealthy donors some outofstate, (2) it is not likely to meet the goal of a more vigorous Iowa, and (3) it is disrespectful to public sector employees. If you pass this, it will invigorate me to do my best to defeat every politician who voted yes on it. Having never done so before at the state level, I will donate significant money and time to defeat those that are tearing apart the fabric of a strong, civic Iowa. I tried to keep an open mind about this legislation and I did my homework. The reporting and analysis of this issue is heavily biased on both sides. But here's one important data point. I looked at Iowa vs. Minnesota (investment in education and public sector), Wisconsin (collective bargaining reform 2011), and Kansas (massive tax and spending cuts 2010). For the period 2012 to 2015 Iowa has the highest average growth rate of the states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kansas, and Iowa.Iowa 4.0%Minnesota 3.8%Wisconsin 3.6%Kansas 2.3%In other words, don't replicate the failure in Kansas or the anemic growth of Wisconsin. Is this respectful of all Iowans, and to teachers? (Answer: no). I work with many teachers. They feel like they deserve thanks from the state and the public for the good work they do and instead they are getting beat up and scapegoated at the Statehouse. Between the anemic 1.1% growth in school funding, the noise about public money for private schools (SF 29 / HF 9), and the gutting of collective bargaining, teachers are absolutely demoralized. They work their tails off, in demanding environments with crowded classrooms, sometimes substandard classroom spaces, and large numbers of students with barriers to learning. Treat them with the respect they are due.
02-13-2017
Kevin Gries []
CON
"Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain."This bill removes rights. That is the exact opposite of what our Iowa flag says we do.Stop it.
02-13-2017
Jazlyn Fitz []
CON
Why the rush? Why no compromise? This bill, as is, is a disgrace to our teachers and all public employees. We do not want to follow in the footsteps of Wisconsin's failed policies. Please vote against this bill.
02-13-2017
Mary Jackovin-Bates []
CON
I am writing to strongly oppose HF 291. As a former Iowa public school teacher, I know that removing teachers' rights to collectively bargain for their wages, benefits, insurance, etc... will further discourage people from entering the profession of teaching. It will exacerbate the differences between the haves and have nots and will only result in a decrease in the quality of education here in Iowa. Wisconsin provides demonstrable proof that a bill like this may improve the bottom line but will do NOTHING to improve the education available in this state. This bill will drive the best teachers away from the more rural and economically challenged schools. I know this Congress is doing its best to ram its agenda down our throats in the 2 years they will be in control. Don't let this one get by and destroy the quality of education in our state.
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
If you truly believe in good public education for Iowians, kill this bill.
02-13-2017
Walter Plahutnik [Iowa Resident 430 N Gilbert, 52245]
CON
I know that one of the stated goals of the current legislature is to bring more jobs to Iowa. And not just jobs, but good jobs. Two points1)A strong educational system, which includes fairly compensated teachers, attracts top quality companies and personnel.2)The State of Iowa and the communities in the State should lead in being good employers, being in a fair relationship with the community members they employ. This sets the bar for companies seeking to relocate here. As Iowans we want businesses that add to our communities, not ones that seek to exploit our tax incentives and our labor for their own advantage at our expense.
02-13-2017
Anonymous [Private Citizen, former teacher]
CON
This bill will deter people from going into teaching and further erode the quality of education in Iowa as more young adults flee the state to work in less restrictive work settings. You will never recruit quality teachers in this environment, and therefore you will never have quality schools, and then by extension never attract families and never businesses. I have two high school students about to graduate who are watching the Iowa legislature with disgust. Neither intend to stay in the state, and it's entirely because they see what you are doing as backward movement. You are digging the state's grave.
02-13-2017
David Akers [Eldora New-Providence Schools]
CON
I am writing today to express my opposition for HSB 84 and SF 213. The way by which the Republicans have drafted and are pushing these bills is cowardly. They call it a reform yet the Republicans drafted it in seclusion from Democrats even though Iowa as a whole tends to be a fairly split state. Pushing this bill through without the opportunity for meaningful discussion or revision proves that they KNOW they are pushing a radical agenda that the voters of Iowa have not mandated nor do they desire. I see the out of state money buying ads to try to convince voters that they just have the best interest of teachers in mind, but I am curious how well cared for those teachers will feel when they jack up the cost of their healthcare without bothering to offset their wages. This bill will affect the entire economy in Iowa. When Wisconsin passed similar legislation, their state employees saw a decrease in take home pay of 812%. Thats about $400 a month per employee. Multiply that by the 250,000 state employees, and we are looking at 100 MILLION dollars less per month being spent in the Iowa economy. I realize you think this will mean big tax savings it works out to $32 per Iowan per month assuming the profits are evenly distributed. What you are forgetting is that when working class people are shorted $400 per month, that means they stop going out to eat, they stop buying coffees, they stop buying appliances, or doing home remodeling, they put off buying new cars, they make do with what they have, which means less money spent at Iowa businesses, which means less sales tax, which means fewer employees are necessary to run these businesses which means less income tax for the state. It also means the businesses that receive this money have less profit, which means they in turn will spend less and the cycle repeats. Republicans seem to have no problem claiming that putting more money in the hands of big business or the upper class will result in more job growth and more tax revenue, but they are incapable of applying the same logic to the working class who are more likely to spend their money locally. This bill will affect the entire economy in Iowa negatively.Allowing this sham of a "reform" to go through asis is disgraceful and down right vindictive. As a parent and a private sector union employee, do understand that I will support our teachers, firefighters, nurses, bus drivers, social workers, and every other state employee 100% with whatever means they use to defend their bargaining rights. This bill will affect the very fiber of Iowa since teachers are the ones who voluteer to head church boards, coach little leagues, run Boy Scout troops, and serve on town councils. Five years after Wisconsin passes ACT 10, 3000 teachers left the profession. The same will happen here. Finally, what "problem" is being solved? What safety concern is being addressed? Of the 34,000 public school teachers in Iowa, perhaps one every ten years is publically identified as "bad". 1 out of 34,000 is not a problem; it is an anamoly. Teachers and other public emplyees are the very fiber of Iowa. Please do not pull the thread and destoy this priceless tapesty.
02-13-2017
Anonymous [Eldora-New Providence Community School District]
CON
I am writing today to express my opposition for HSB 84 and SF 213. The way by which the Republicans have drafted and are pushing these bills is cowardly. They call it a reform yet the Republicans drafted it in seclusion from Democrats even though Iowa as a whole tends to be a fairly split state. Pushing this bill through without the opportunity for meaningful discussion or revision proves that they KNOW they are pushing a radical agenda that the voters of Iowa have not mandated nor do they desire. I see the out of state money buying ads to try to convince voters that they just have the best interest of teachers in mind, but I am curious how well cared for those teachers will feel when they jack up the cost of their healthcare without bothering to offset their wages. This bill will affect the entire economy in Iowa. When Wisconsin passed similar legislation, their state employees saw a decrease in take home pay of 812%. Thats about $400 a month per employee. Multiply that by the 250,000 state employees, and we are looking at 100 MILLION dollars less per month being spent in the Iowa economy. I realize you think this will mean big tax savings it works out to $32 per Iowan per month assuming the profits are evenly distributed. What you are forgetting is that when working class people are shorted $400 per month, that means they stop going out to eat, they stop buying coffees, they stop buying appliances, or doing home remodeling, they put off buying new cars, they make do with what they have, which means less money spent at Iowa businesses, which means less sales tax, which means fewer employees are necessary to run these businesses which means less income tax for the state. It also means the businesses that receive this money have less profit, which means they in turn will spend less and the cycle repeats. Republicans seem to have no problem claiming that putting more money in the hands of big business or the upper class will result in more job growth and more tax revenue, but they are incapable of applying the same logic to the working class who are more likely to spend their money locally. This bill will affect the entire economy in Iowa negatively.Allowing this sham of a "reform" to go through as is is disgraceful and down right vindictive. As a parent and a private sector union employee, do understand that I will support our teachers, firefighters, nurses, bus drivers, social workers, and every other state employee 100% with whatever means they use to defend their bargaining rights. This bill will affect the very fiber of Iowa since teachers are the ones who volunteer to head church boards, coach little leagues, run Boy Scout troops, and serve on town councils. Five years after Wisconsin passes ACT 10, 3000 teachers left the profession. The same will happen here. Finally, what "problem" is being solved? What safety concern is being addressed? Of the 34,000 public school teachers in Iowa, perhaps one every ten years is publicly identified as "bad". 1 out of 34,000 is not a problem; it is an anomaly. Teachers and other public employees are the very fiber of Iowa. Please do not pull the thread and destroy this priceless tapestry.
02-13-2017
Rhonda Glew [DHS]
CON
I oppose HSB 84 and SF 213. These bills essentially gut Chapter 20, something that has been in place for 40 years. This isn't about the unions getting everythingChapter 20 has worked because it encourages moderation from BOTH sides. If this legislation is passed it will effect ALL Iowans. Unions have repeatedly given up rises to ensure their current heath insurance coverage. If my pay is reduced it will force me to spend less money in my community, possibly even move. Less money spent in communities means less tax revenue. Please tell me how this is better for Iowans?
02-13-2017
Jessica Nystel [Iowa Falls-Alden High School]
CON
I love being a public educator and helping my students. It is my life's calling. Please stop working AGAINST teachers and other public servants. This bill will block off any discussion of health care, grievances, or the evaluation process. It will make it almost impossible to stay in a union. It limits negotiating to base pay only, which will drive off teachers in droves. Small schools will lose quality teachers to larger schools, and Iowa will lose quality teachers to neighboring states. Do you really think so little of your constituents and Iowa's children? How much are you paying for health care, Sen. Dix and Gov. Branstad? What are your benefits? Are you even listening to us?
02-13-2017
Michaela Crann [Public Educator]
CON
Do not let this bill pass. There is no benefit to the public and will only hurt our public education. Our teachers deserve better, our youth deserve better, our state deserves better.
02-13-2017
Diedre Howe []
CON
I am writing today to express my opposition for HSB 84 and SF 213. The way by which the Republicans have drafted and are pushing these bills is cowardly. They call it a reform yet the Republicans drafted it in seclusion from Democrats even though Iowa as a whole tends to be a fairly split state. Pushing this bill through without the opportunity for meaningful discussion or revision proves that they KNOW they are pushing a radical agenda that the voters of Iowa have not mandated nor do they desire. I see the out of state money buying ads to try to convince voters that they just have the best interest of teachers in mind, but I am curious how well cared for those teachers will feel when they jack up the cost of their healthcare without bothering to offset their wages. This bill will affect the entire economy in Iowa. When Wisconsin passed similar legislation, their state employees saw a decrease in take home pay of 812%. Thats about $400 a month per employee. Multiply that by the 250,000 state employees, and we are looking at 100 MILLION dollars less per month being spent in the Iowa economy. I realize you think this will mean big tax savings it works out to $32 per Iowan per month assuming the profits are evenly distributed. What you are forgetting is that when working class people are shorted $400 per month, that means they stop going out to eat, they stop buying coffees, they stop buying appliances, or doing home remodeling, they put off buying new cars, they make do with what they have, which means less money spent at Iowa businesses, which means less sales tax, which means fewer employees are necessary to run these businesses which means less income tax for the state. It also means the businesses that receive this money have less profit, which means they in turn will spend less and the cycle repeats. Republicans seem to have no problem claiming that putting more money in the hands of big business or the upper class will result in more job growth and more tax revenue, but they are incapable of applying the same logic to the working class who are more likely to spend their money locally. This bill will affect the entire economy in Iowa negatively.Allowing this sham of a "reform" to go through asis is disgraceful and down right vindictive. As a parent and a private sector union employee, do understand that I will support our teachers, firefighters, nurses, bus drivers, social workers, and every other state employee 100% with whatever means they use to defend their bargaining rights. This bill will affect the very fiber of Iowa since teachers are the ones who volunteer to head church boards, coach little leagues, run Boy Scout troops, and serve on town councils. Five years after Wisconsin passes ACT 10, 3000 teachers left the profession. The same will happen here. Finally, what "problem" is being solved? What safety concern is being addressed? Of the 34,000 public school teachers in Iowa, perhaps one every ten years is publicly identified as "bad". 1 out of 34,000 is not a problem; it is an anomaly. Teachers and other public employees are the very fiber of Iowa. Please do not pull the thread and destroy this priceless tapestry.
02-13-2017
Anonymous [Pocahontas Area Community School]
CON
Collective bargaining is good for education. It helps to alleviate the disparity in wages for small schools. It allows the negotiation of other benefits besides wages.
02-13-2017
Laura McGarvey [LT Association]
CON
. Chapter 20 was created to create a balance between state employees and administrators and eliminate striking by workers. It was a bipartisan bill. Republicans are The changes proposed silence state employees, and kept the Sec. 20.12 of the bill that prohibits state employees from striking. Who will protect state employees? Who do you work for, your not working for Iowans by passing this bill. Teachers do not accept lame excuses and don't tolerate bullies. That's what this bill represents to me and my family and we will remember in 2018.
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
Don't strip collective bargaining rights from state employees.
02-13-2017
Jennifer Harris []
CON
I am writing to oppose HF 291. Please vote NO on this measure as it will have farreaching detrimental impacts on the very people that VOTED YOU INTO OFFICE! If passed, this bill will harm all workers in the state of Iowa by driving down wages and benefits. If passed, this bill will also negatively impact the quality of public higher education in this state by driving away graduate students who teach undergraduate courses and rely on stipends and health insurance to do so. Passing this bill will show further evidence that our legislators are representing corporate interests above all else.
02-13-2017
Jackie S Cordon []
CON
This legislation is not only detrimental to the quality of our schools, it also will affect our home values. Teachers won't stay where their work isn't worth what they are paid. More school consolidations and bigger classrooms means people will not buy houses in our areas, which means home prices will go down. I also care about the farmers in our area, who don't necessarily have the choice to leave. Their kids deserve decent schools. This isn't what we voted you in for. Do your job and represent us.
02-13-2017
Suzanne Zilber [Catalyst Counseling ]
CON
Specifically, I am concerned as a mental health provider about the impact of making the personnel records publically available and of the settlement agreements. I have served women who filed sexual harassment claims and the capacity to come to a confidential agreement was central to meeting their goals to get closure on their negative experience. I also am concerned about how to treat people whose reputations have been unfairly maligned through such public exposures. I have seen someone get a low rating on a performance evaluation for that person's response to a problematic employee and then later to find out that the person evaluated was right the dangerous employee ended up in prison for harming a client. But that took several years to occur. More generally, I am confused that the Republican leadership seems concerned about corporate welfare through cuts to education without considering that corporations need educated workforces. Supporting public school teachers and other public sector workers feels central to Iowa's business health.
02-13-2017
Dawn Remsburg [Citizen]
CON
This bill, as it stands now, will put Iowa's proud tradition of " education first" on the chopping block. In my experience, if the topic is not in the "laundry list" it is not discussed with the exception of bathroom breaks for elementary teachers. Yes, that problem was solved through a memorandum of agreement after research showed that it was harmful to a person's health. Even then the school board wished to sunset that agreement because it was too difficult to schedule! (I volunteered to help the principal who had complained figure it out.) More often than not, my district has had a respectful, collegial working relationship where The Association has had a voice in shared decisionmaking helped solve problems rather than creating more problems. You are in the process of eroding, if not decimating, this shared voice. Teachers will retire early, others will leave the profession, prospective teachers will not even enter teaching as a career. The system that is being proposed will pit teacher against teacher. How can you say that a high school math teacher is more valuable than the kindergarten teacher who taught the student onetoone correspondence and patterns, or the 5th grade teacher who at a critical stage of development helped train the brain to extend and recognize those patterns towards algebraic reasoning? I am especially concerned for the rural school districts in Iowa. What will be especially harmful is the jumping from school to school as has been seen in Wisconsin. Look at how their test scores have dropped in the past five years and you can see that those that have had to bear the brunt of this political decision has been the kids and the communities. Don't let this happen in Iowa. It truly will go beyond education and effect the economic outlook for rural Iowa.
02-13-2017
Cheryl Hurdel []
CON
I very well most definitely oppose this bill. First you say it all has to do with money which means wages. That is not true whatsoever. We negotiate our contracts faithfully and conservatively assisting our elected officials to come up with a fair contract. Our elected officials have the final say as to whether or not they are spending taxpayers dollars. I own Union has been the first to come to the bargaining table many times over stating we would take no increase in wages because of the economy and the burden we all know it would have put on the taxpayers. This is always been first and foremost in our minds. Many many times we have gone through contracts where we got no increase in wages for several years. We understood at the time the necessity for that. We are not bullies. But we also don't want to be bullied back. This is what you are creating and taking away and getting chapter 20
02-13-2017
Elizabeth Hoenig []
CON
GOP lawmakers, what you're doing is criminal! We will not forget.
02-13-2017
Jennifer Brown []
CON
This bill will not save our taxpayers money. Instead, it will weaken our educational system by further dissuading new teachers from entering the field and causing more great teachers to leave the profession. We already face teacher shortages and growing class sizes. That problem is going to be even greater in the coming years. We need to focus on how to attract our best and brightest to teaching. Teachers are already working incredibly hard with limited resources and feeling increasingly demoralized. This bill is unnecessary and dangerous for Iowa's education future. Please note no to these bills.
02-13-2017
Jennifer Burkle []
CON
Dear Labor Committee,I was born in West Des Moines, and have spent the majority of my life as an Iowa resident. My mother was a teacher, and my father was an elementary school principal for over 30 years in the Des Moines school system. Today, I have many family and friends who dedicate their lives to helping others. Becoming a teacher is a calling that is not meant for everyone, and a job that I am quite certain cannot be performed by those without a special gift.My husband and I moved back to Iowa to raise our children for three reasons:1.Many of the family members we cherish are here in Iowa2.The community is caring and supportive to children and families3.Iowa was leading the nation in student achievementSince moving back to the area in 2000, we have seen hard working teachers doing the best they can to respond to increased regulation/standards and decreased funding. I recognize that we have a need to manage cost in our state. Anyone who has a household budget understands that money only goes so far. I sincerely believe that there are other ways to find efficiencies and still ensure the best for our children and our communities.The perception of others is their reality. Let me share with you how this is being perceived by many:This is all an effort to deconstruct the public school system to make way for charter schools and vouchers.Republicans know that they may only have the majority for a short while so they are pushing through what they can, as fast as they can.I hear so many people today saying things like "We have a Republican majority. They are going to do what they want, and there is nothing any of us can do about it".I know that this is not all true. I am very aware of the pressure that you receive from the private sector who perceive the wages of some government workers as unfair or not in alignment with the industry. Should this be addressed? Absolutely. Sweeping mandates rather than having difficult conversations can be perceived as cowardly.Here is what most are asking of you:Slow down This does not need to be rushed and passed without considering modifications or adequate discussion.Listen Be open to the concerns of others. Show some class and empathy by hearing from those who will be most impacted. Seek to understand other points of view.Educate If there are compelling reasons for portions of this bill, share with others in a way that helps to bridge the divide rather than making it larger. Show data that explains your position.Be flexible Be willing to compromise on portions of the legislation. Find common ground that helps you to achieve your goal without dramatic change that will impact the livelihood of great people here in Iowa.Research Understand the impact this type of change has had on other states. Determine what modifications if any can be made to avoid negative outcomes.I believe in the qualities of Iowans. I know that political affiliation is not what drives us. Iowans are driven by hard work and caring for our community. Lets set a positive standard for the rest of the country rather than proving that division is the only path forward. Show us your Iowa values, and honor the role in which your constituents have placed you. Best regards,Jennifer Burkle
Attachment
02-13-2017
Robin Oanes []
CON
I was a public employee in WI at the time a similar bill was passed. It amounted to an attack on the middle class. We saw diminished income, benefits, rights, and morale. The work environment became toxic. Public employees work very hard under stressful conditions (i.e., dealing with broken families, the mentally ill, those in need of food and medical care. THEY EDUCATE YOUR CHILDREN. This bill amounts to an attack on people you supposedly represent. STOP ATTACKING THE MIDDLE CLASS AND THE WORKERS WHO KEEP OUR HUMAN SERVICES, INFRASTRUCTURE, AND EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS FUNCTIONING. If you think public employees are living the good life off of their fellow citizens, you are woefully ignorant of the reality. You are paving the way for big business to exploit your constituents. Really, have you no shame? BUILD the middle class, don't undermine it, if you truly care about your constituents and the future of this state and country. Please, just stop consolidating power and placing it in the hands of the few so they can control every aspect of the lives of the many. PUBLIC EMPLOYEES ARE NOT THE ENEMY. Stop treating them like it.
02-13-2017
Tamara Grossnickle [FDCSD]
CON
I am truly disheartened by the collective bargaining bill aimed at public employees, including the teachers of Iowa. We are already experiencing a teacher shortage. With this bill, more college students will shy away from a major in the education field. Teachers, such as my husband, who have been teaching 20+ years are now facing a large cut in pay, as they will no longer be able to sit at the collective bargaining table and negotiate health insurance costs. Districts will now be able to put the majority of the cost of an instructors health insurance back on them, causing their pay to take a large decline. Teacher's pay is already controlled by the state and with the 1.1% increase just recently passed in the state house, which was not enough to match the rising costs of today's economy, many teachers will find themselves in financial trouble. You tout that this new bill will allow districts to reward great educators and possibly "get rid" of bad ones. However, who determines the excellence of a teacher? I would have to assume that the administration and school board will be left to make those determinations. Unfortunately, it could become a popularity contest, leaving the morality in a building at an all time low. I urge you to think about this bill and take the time to hear those it affects.
02-13-2017
Eric Stimson [Mr.]
CON
Republicans are claiming that the recent election is proof the Iowans support this legislation. Nothing could be farther from the truth. This bill is an abomination in so many ways. It will decimate public education in Iowa, something sure to please Betsy DeVos and her privatized education cabal. It will drive tens of thousands of honorable, taxpaying civil servants from public sector service. It demeans those union employees who, many times, gave up salary increases in return for the promise of enhanced insurance benefits. The HYPOCRITE lawmakers who unlawfully defrauded the taxpayers by receiving insurance subsidies they were not entitled to are now claiming that union insurance benefits, benefits that were fairly bargained, must be denied to the workers. Shame on the Republicans and those who support them. We will NOT forget this and will dance on the metaphorical graves of your political careers in 2018.
02-13-2017
Susan DeBlieck []
CON
The effort to drive down wages, cut health care, eliminate services, and degrade our quality of life can not be supported. Strong unions = strong middle class.
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
Collective bargaining reform can be achieved in a bipartisan way between public unions and the legislature. This sweeping reform is not what Iowans want. Look at the volume of paticipation from citizens in legislative forums, contacting their legislators and attending demonstrations. This legislation will directly effect more than 180,000 individuals, their families and their communities. If public union employees loose benefits they depend on their finances will be effected and their cost saving measures will effect the state economy. Iowa will also suffer in retention of professional workers.When schools can't bargain with healthcare and other details they will end up loosing positions to compensate for budget shortfalls this will hurt smaller school districts and education statewide.I attended legislative forums and contacted my representatives and still don't see how this legislation will result in cost savings for the state.Senators stand with your constituents, answer to your distinct, have courage. Vote against collective bargaining reform, HF 291!
02-13-2017
Colleen McKee Schloemer [Davenport Schools]
CON
I find it unbelievable that you can change law that has worked well for over 40 years without any thought to the workers that it protects. Have you no conscience? Some of the people you are ignoring are voters who will vote you OUT in two years. Just know that.....I am totally disgusted with this legislature.
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I implore legislators to delay the signing of HF 291! This bill is detrimental to all teachers and public employees, and their ability to have say in how they are treated by employers and how they are paid. More public hearings need to be held on this subject, and more voices need to be heard! Legislators should not ignore the voices of thousands across the state, both Republican and Democrat, that are calling for this bill not to be passed!
02-13-2017
Aileen Osborn [Mrs.]
CON
Please oppose this bill as it hurts the folks who voted for you, as well as their families. They are taxpayers also. Denying the right to bargain is the same as denying the right to speak. It only gives the employer power, and limits everyone else.
02-13-2017
Matt Dencklau []
CON
Collective bargaining and the right of workers to unionize and have a voice in the condition of their workplace is part of the American culture and dream. When unions are strongest, so is the American economy. Public workers have earned and deserve a voice in their employment. If we want quality workers we must respect their rights as workers and citizens. I know several teachers, including the one in my home who give their own time and money to support their profession and the education of the kids they love. Our kids deserve the best. Our streets and safety deserve the best. Don't disrespect our best.
02-13-2017
Beth Knipper [High school teacher ]
CON
We need to make sure to protect those who protect us whether it be on the streets a police officer or firefighter, in the hospital with nurses, or protecting our future by teaching our children. I keep hearing this is what the general public wants and yet it seems like the forums were overwhelming attended by people who do not support this. The legislature is supposed to follow the voice of their constituants,not their own whims.
02-13-2017
Jason Martin-Hiner [Iowa Citizen and Parent]
CON
Schools not only fill the critical role of providing stable environments for the education of our children, but are also a major economic contributor in rural communities like mine. The proposed changes in this bill on top of previous cuts to education funding will be devastating for educators. It has the potential to negatively impact both the potential to recruit new teachers to the profession and retain quality teachers already working hard for Iowa's kids.
02-13-2017
Anonymous [School District]
CON
Please consider the following when voting in this issue:1. This bill is very similar to Act 10 in Wisconsin. Please research the effects of this bill on education before voting. If you are not wellinformed to understand these effects, please vote "no." 2. Please consider the intention behind this bill. What benefit does the State of Iowa gain in passing this legislation? At what cost? The harms of this bill outweigh the benefits. This is very clear.3. Consider your constituents. Please do not vote along party lines until you have really considered this issue. Why is this proposal being considered in such a rushed manner? If you think you need more time to make a decision, do not vote in favor of this bill. Your constituents will thank you.The K12 students in the state of Iowa thank you for your consideration.
02-13-2017
Janet Scharnberg []
CON
This bill will further decrease our middle class on the backs of our hard working public servants. Who does this benefit? Only the very wealthy.
02-13-2017
Leslie Carver [Individual Tax paying and voting Iowan]
CON
My parents are public school teachers in Wisconsin. If you want to go down the path of busting up unions by all means go ahead, this is a great idea if that is your goal. Some consequences you may not see right away but will come as a result of this: 1. Poor school districts will get poorer and lose teachers. 2. New teachers will work 13 years to get experience and move to states where they are valued. 3. School districts that boarder other states will have an experienced teacher shortage. 4. The teachers that are closer to retirement or have significant other income will have more burdens put on them making the job less appealing. 5. Students will suffer. 6. Society will suffer.
02-13-2017
Barb Bowman [teacher]
CON
I have served on the negotiations team for our school district for the over 10 years. What is being proposed will greatly impact our ability to attract and retain good teachers to our district. We have always negotiated our salary/insurance as a package and have a very healthy selffunded plan as part of our benefit. We have forgone raises to keep this plan intact. If we can't negotiate our insurance and other benefits, we are left at the mercy of a district that, because of low allowable growth the past few years and declining enrollment, will not be able to give us substantial enough raises to make up the difference. The number of young teachers graduating is declining, and with this legislation that could negatively impact our working conditions as well, Iowa will no longer be able to maintain it's once exceptional level of education. Very Concerned
02-13-2017
Katherine Craven []
CON
If this bill is passed, it will have a harmful impact on workingclass families throughout the state of Iowa. Public employees educate children, keep us safe, keep cities clean, protect natural resources, and save lives. This bill is designed to take away benefits that these employees receive. Public employees are often underpaid and overworked. It is unfair to place more burdens on them by effectively lowering their salaries by taking away their ability to negotiate benefits. Vote no to HF 291 and support public workers!
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
Quoting a policy brief prepared by the Iowa Policy Project:"The changes to collective bargaining under consideration could have devastating consequences for the people of Iowa. Lawmakers and the public should be aware of serious pitfalls associated with sweeping changes to this longstanding law, which carry implications for every school district, city, county, and state agency in Iowa. Of primary concern to all Iowans, economic impacts and ripple effects of proposed changes are likely to exacerbate existing trends low and stagnating wages, growing uncertainty about access to affordable health care, and increasing income inequality that are already accelerating downward mobility for many Iowa households. And these effects are likely to disproportionately harm rural communities, lowincome workers, and to threaten the quality of the health care, public safety, and public education systems upon which all Iowans depend. "http://www.iowapolicyproject.org/2017Research/170203collbarg.html
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
Recruiting good educators to the field is hard enough. Now, the benefits associated hiring those good teachers is potentially being thrown out. As a result, you may loose good teachers who are already in the classroom and may never recruit the future good teachers because the possibility of losing said benefits. Don't change the code for collective bargaining and make an issue out of something that is not an issue. Our children may suffer the most.
02-13-2017
Barbara Renz []
CON
Do NOT do this. We will be Wisconsin and lose the best teachers in our state to other states that VALUE their dedication to our students and their profession!
02-13-2017
Anonymous [Eldora-New Providence Community School District]
CON
This bill is intended to strip employee's rights in negotiations and gives the power to big business. I love what I do as a public school teacher, but making my job unattractive to the point of wanting to leave the profession is becoming a reality with the introduction of this bill.
02-13-2017
Anonymous [West Des Moines Schools, retired]
CON
I taught for almost 40 years and continue as a substitute teacher on occasion. I started my career in 1975 and have been a recipient of the improved benefits and working conditions that resulted from collective bargaining. "Bad" teachers do not remain in the classroom because of unions; because of negotiated process, teachers in need of assistance are provided help toward improving and if progress is not satisfactory, may be terminated. It's a matter of supervisors doing their jobsjust like in the private sector. Being able to concentrate on my students, their needs, and continuing my education to do so was a benefit of collective bargaining. Taking away teachers' voices and input will negatively affect our students. Allow our educators continued voice. Defeat this bill!
02-13-2017
Lee Hughes []
CON
It's time you started addressing how Iowans tax dollars are being used, in the form of tax breaks for corporations including foreign companies, tax breaks that have not shown provable growth to Iowa's economy instead of hurting Iowans who you are trying to make pay for those giveaways by cutting benefits and services through terminations and furloughs to real working Iowans. Think before you act. Vote no on this bill and go back to the drawing board on how to solve the fiscal problems this state may have. You are about to make matters worse, not better, by passing this legislation.
02-13-2017
Janice Edmondson []
CON
Please do not repeal this act. Our workers have labored for years to earn the right to speak up in the workplace and to be paid fair wages. Repealing this act is an affront to workers and professionals and should not be done.Thank you. Janice EdmondsonAND YES I VOTE!!!
02-13-2017
Barbara Kalbach []
CON
I spent 12years on my local school board. I didn't find contract negotiations or arbitration at all cumberson. Both teachers & board knew the existing circumstances & worked well to negotiate together.Further, I have two daughters who are teachers. They spend $500$1000 every fall, out of their own pockets to make sure every child in their classroom has needed supplies. They go to bat for their students EVERY daywork hard continuing eddeal with attacks by parents daily & legislators on occasion& STILL show up for work every day. At one DSM school last week, a parent showed up with a baseball bat!! Who had to approach her & defuse the situation? A public employee. Legis. had better spend a minimum of 2 days in the classroom b4 they continue on this course!! THEN they may have some insight.
02-13-2017
Teresa Birch [Tax Payer]
CON
I am not a public employee but pay taxes and support my fellow Iowans who serve the state on a daily basis. Please listen to your constituents and vote no on HF 291.
02-13-2017
Diane Breckenridge [West Des Moines Schools, retired]
CON
I taught for almost 40 years and continue as a substitute teacher on occasion. I started my career in 1975 and have been a recipient of the improved benefits and working conditions that resulted from collective bargaining. "Bad" teachers do not remain in the classroom because of unions; because of negotiated process, teachers in need of assistance are provided help toward improving and if progress is not satisfactory, may be terminated. It's a matter of supervisors doing their jobsjust like in the private sector. Being able to concentrate on my students, their needs, and continuing my education to do so was a benefit of collective bargaining. Taking away teachers' voices and input will negatively affect our students. Allow our educators continued voice. Defeat this bill!
02-13-2017
Greg Burzette []
CON
I am writing in protest of HF 291.I feel the HF 291 is not in the best interest of all Iowans.Instead of changing Chapter 20, why do you not repeal the whole thing?The Republican Party is acting unilaterally in this regard.I also note that this bill was pushed through on a rushed schedule to obfuscate Iowans on the real intentions of this bill.This is the same thing that happened in Wisconsin last year. Corporate donors backed by the Citizen United decision are pushing for this.There is much fallout from this being enacted in Wisconsin, they have a difficult time finding teachers and have actually changed the law to allow unqualified persons to fill in.This is not what we need for Iowa, a State that proclaims a "Foundation in Education" on a US QuarterThe right has pushed this false narrative about Unions for years, and now the Iowa Legislature is pushing this in a bid to satisfy the largest donors.This is pure partisan politics in the worse way imaginable.Governor Branstad has had it in for Unions for years, and he will sign it and ride off into the sunset.
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
Please vote NO on HF 291. This bill is hostile to all Iowans. It will gut our ability to attract and retain the best and brightest teachers for Iowa's children. It threatens health care, and as recent survivor of cancer, I can't imagine what a bill like this would mean to families like mine.Support teachers, support public employees, and support our children's right to a bright future. NO on HF 291.
02-13-2017
Shannon Patrick []
CON
I am not a union employee, but I oppose HF 291 and SF 213. While I understand the desire to simplify state health plans, these bills far exceed that scope and are outright union busting. There is ample evidence that busting public unions is not in the public interest. To take education as an example, union schools perform better, and eliminating collective bargaining reduces average teacher pay and job stability. There is already a national teacher shortage, and top students in the U.S. are already less likely to go into teaching than in other nations. Paying teachers less and axing their benefits will only make this situation worse.
02-13-2017
Ken Herring [self]
CON
I am retired after a 34 year career with the Iowa DNR. I have worked on both sides of the collective bargaining issues in Iowa. I worked to organize biologists, foresters, and environmental professionals and together we voted to be represented by IUP (Iowa United Professionals). Later in my career, I supervised more than 550 employees in the Conservation and Recreation Division of IDNR. I worked and used the process outlined in chapter 20 on both sides. It is a fair and equitable chapter of Iowa's code that provides for a fair and stable process for the state managers and employees to settle conflicts that come up in the work place. In my opinion, the only problem with this process that nonunion upper echelon managers are rewarded with whatever benefits the union negotiates. Mid salary workers negotiate to forgo salary increases for less expense in their health care. Nonunion and upper salaried and legislators are rewarded with the same health care deal. Again, mid to lower range employees negotiate a two percent salary increase. At $40K per year this increase equals $800/year or $30 extra in their paycheck (that is also taxed). However, this 2% is then passed along to upper salary managers making $80k or more and their increase is $1600/year or $62/pay check. Over the course of 10 to 20 years, this disparity becomes exponentially significant. If legislators want to stop rising costs of public employees bargaining, they could pass a law limiting union negotiated benefits to not exceed in terms of dollars (not percentages) to nonunion employees. Of course, we have recently discovered what legislators themselves do with written law when it comes to considering their own benefits with regard to health insurance. I have 5 grown children/spouses who will be affected by this bill. Their decisions to enter their careers are in no small part a belief that their chosen career will make Iowa a better place . At the least, legislators need to slow this legislation down and build upon chapter 20 while involving affected stakeholders. The current bill, drafted in seclusion, and pushed hurriedly through the legislative process is doomed to divide our great state, and most importantly have dire unintended consequences on its impacts to public workers, teachers and our taxpayers.
02-13-2017
Brad Bates []
CON
This bill has not been developed in a bipartisan manner and is not supported by a majority of Iowans. It should not be passed because a majority of Iowans do not want this. Please keep your far right wing Koch brothers agenda out of Iowa politics.
02-13-2017
Gayle Murray [None]
CON
Please do the right thing & vote against this bill. Many talented & committed people dedicate their lives & careers to public service. They accept lower wages than they could otherwise obtain in the private sector because of the benefits they have been promised. The ability to negotiate is something that benefits the employees, the employers & the communities in which we live.
02-13-2017
Valia Dentino []
CON
Collective bargaining for public service employees is not a threat to citizens of Iowa. Why is it that Republicans are so disrespectful of fellow Iowans who travel the same roads, live and shop in the same communities, have children going to the same schools? What is to be gained? Certainly not the trust of Iowans who are saving your lives, taking your temperature, clearing the roads, teaching your children and grandchildren. You are tearing apart the fabric of what is good about Iowato what end? Why are you afraid of unions? No need to give a history lesson on the good unions have done over the years, I assume. You do not have the moral high ground on this issue, period, nor the support of most Iowans.
02-13-2017
Sarah Andrews []
CON
I am a 5th generation Iowan, have lived here my entire life and attended public schools including the University of Iowa where I have worked for over 20 years.I have been a proud Iowan because of our great education system, our fairness and equity, and the way we provide health care and services for everyone in the state either through insurance, Medicaid or previous programs like Iowa Care.This bill threatens all of those values.Equity and fairness are threatened. Police and firefighting are male dominated fields, yet they retain all of their rights. Teaching. libraries and clerical jobs are overwhelmingly female dominated. Is this the message you want to send? That women are not as important?Giving tax breaks to commercial businesses has not resulted in more jobs or a more desirable environment to live in. In Iowa, population and wealth are very concentrated in urban areas and we need the state to provide equitable services across rural areas. Access to good teachers, librarians and services help increase equity.Education is threatened. Rural schools already have problems attracting high quality teachers. Teachers, especially those in border areas, will chose to teach in Minnesota or leave the state entirely. Teaching is a hard job, and cuts to education funding have made it harder. Rural school districts already have to use higher pay to try to attract new teachers. Right now they have equal footing with benefits, but that will immediately change.Health CareThe University of Iowa Hospitals is the only place in Iowa to be treated for many serious conditions. They already have problems attracting enough nurses and reducing benefits will not help retract or retain the best quality nurses.You need to make ALL of Iowa an attractive place to live and work in order to attract and retain young people who will raise families and start businesses. This bill would ensure that collegeeducated Iowans flee the state.
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
Collective bargaining is a right
02-13-2017
Elizabeth Constantine []
CON
Chipping away at the rights of Iowans is pretty scary stuff. Thanks to unions, Iowa's children are protected from labor at young ages. Thanks to unions, Iowans enjoy a 5day work week. Unions have brought so much to this state. Stripping away our rights little by little will ultimately destroy our state. Iowa is justly proud of its role in public education and rights for women and workers. Do you really want to destroy all that is good in this state?
02-13-2017
Bob Hart []
CON
This bill is nothing but Union busting. Please don't do this
02-13-2017
Anonymous [Retired public school teacher]
CON
Removing collective bargaining undermines worker protection for teachers and all municipal workers and others who rely on it. Moving in this direction, along with many perceived attacks on programs that benefit the constituency appears to be designed to develop a class system based on cash flow. This is antipathetic to the premises this country is founded on. I, along with many others, am concerned that this current political maneuvering is going to result in devastating consequences for all. Technology enables many to weigh in on decisions. It seems it would behoove the representation to poll their constituency for better representation of the majority.
02-13-2017
Gary T. Zmolek [retired teacher]
CON
I have already requested to speak, but I did not include the entire text of my comments before. Here they are:My name is Gary Zmolek and I am here tonight because I have dedicated my life to public education and this legislation causes me great concern.After 36 years in public education I retired. However, retirement didnt sit well with me and I went back to the classroom as a substitute teacher. Ive gotten to work with dozens of teaching teams, taught hundreds of students and literally learned something new every day. It is amazing Ive taught for every grade level, including preschool and in almost every curricular area. From all that I have seen, I can stand here before you tonight and tell you that Iowas public schools are exceptionaland its not the buildings or the text booksits the educators who shape the minds of our students and make them love learning that set Iowa schools apart.As many of you here tonight know, across the country many statesincluding our neighbor Wisconsin, which passed a bill gutting the rights of workers, similar to this legislationare experiencing severe teacher shortages in critical subject areas like math and science. With enrollment rates at colleges and universities for education declining, and many young people who enter the profession leaving within the first 5 years, it is going to become MORE competitive not LESS to recruit and retain talented teachers.We need this legislature to be thinking about how we can make Iowa more attractive for future teachers. How can we make educators feel valued and how can we support them to set them up for success?At 67, I feel like Ive been around long enough to know that if you put a nice outfit on a skunk and send it to a garden party, its still going to smell like a skunk and the legislation that we are here talking about tonight is a skunk, dressed up in the emperors new party clothes of taxpayer relief and local control. Not only does it make Iowa educators feel disrespected, discounted, abandoned, targeted, and attacked, it wont save Iowa any money, and it takes control out of the hands of local teachers. In the long run the costs are very high.One of the reasons that Iowa has been able to attract and retain strong, talented teachers is that we have 40 years of rich history in collective negotiation. The ideas educators have about improving our own work environment ought to matter because our work environment is our students learning environment. Those of us doing the work are the ones who know the job inside and out. When we come together to collectively negotiate improvementslike smaller class sizes or updated safety equipment for chemistry labs it improves the learning environment for our students. This legislation takes away our seat at the table and our ability to advocate for Iowas students and families. The speed and secrecy with which this matter has been crafted and scheduled made me think of a poem by E. E. Cummings:a politician is an arse uponwhich everyone has sat except a man.As a teacher I knew that learning often occurs after a mistake. You have a chance here to act, not like the politician in the poem, but like the statesmen I believe you all aspire to be. Dont let this skunk spoil the party.Thank you.
02-13-2017
Anonymous [None]
CON
Removing collective bargaining undermines worker protection for teachers and all municipal workers and others who rely on it. Moving in this direction, along with many perceived attacks on programs that benefit the constituency appears to be designed to develop a class system based on cash flow. This is antipathetic to the premises this country is founded on. I, along with many others, am concerned that this current political maneuvering is going to result in devastating consequences for all. Technology enables many to weigh in on decisions. It seems it would behoove the representation to poll their constituency for better representation of the majority.
02-13-2017
Gunda Brost []
CON
This bill is an insult to our intelligence and fundamentally devalues what we do on a daily basis without complaint to improve society and educate the next generation. If you want to take finds and rights away because you are so concerned to please the corporate interests you apparently work for cut your own salaries and benefits and model modesty instead of gutting a law that was not only introduced by a real Republican before your party sold out to corporate interests but worked for both employees and employers for 40 years but protecting both sides.
02-13-2017
Anonymous [Education ]
CON
The state of Iowa is filled with workers who vote. What are you guys thinking?
02-13-2017
Ron Armstrong []
CON
Sent from my iPhoneBegin forwarded message:From: Ronald Armstrong rarmstrohotmail.comDate: February 12, 2017 at 10:42:39 PM CSTTo: Ronald Armstrong rarmstrohotmail.com, Lisa Armstrong lisoxhotmail.com This letter is to urge you to reject any attempts to modify the current legislation governing collective bargaining for public employees in the state of Iowa. Why are they trying to change legislation that has worked well for forty years. The actions contemplated by some of your colleagues is an attack meant to destroy unions nationwide but it has real world consequences for Iowa families and students. This effort is not meant to improve the quality of teaching in our public schools. It will not provide any net benefit to any child who currently attends an Iowa public school. This effort is not even part of any grassroots political action originating within the state of Iowa. This is nothing more than a national effort from our lame duck governor, and political action groups to devalue and degrade the teaching profession, and to eliminate nearly any form of collective bargaining for public employees.Our current collective bargaining regulations were born out of strife and contemplative legislation. It took years to iron out legislation that was fair and equitable to all. This current plan reached the public in a matter of weeks, and occurred behind closed doors. This is cookie cutter legislation that is fashioned as a one size fits all legislation that is making its way across the nation. This legislation doesnt represent values and the interests of Iowan. It does not represent our sense of fair play. This plan undermines any voice that the teachers might have in their futures. Despite the claims of the most adamant supporters of the proposed legislation, the current collective bargaining legislation, the current legislation does work. Before chapter 20 there were incendiary situations that were marked by strikes and arrests. These circumstances did not benefit teachers, communities, and most of all, the students. Chapter 20 leveled that playing field between both sides of the negotiation process. If one side was unreasonable, arbitration reeled them in.The idea that teachers have held hostage districts is ridiculous. Both my wife and I have been a parents and teachers for 36 years. We have yet to meet a teacher who was able to retire in the lap of luxury from an Iowa teacher's salary. Most of the educators we know have met found it necessary to have a second jobs after school and on weekends. The worked hard during the summers finding work to help make ends meet. In order to advance on the salary schedule my colleagues to invested both time and money to earn a masters degree. We buy modest homes, and drive used cars. You wont find my colleagues driving to school in a Mercedes or a Cadillac. The irony is not lost on my colleagues in the teacher's lounge when we muse about how shabby our cars looked compared to some of our students. Yet, while our salaries were far from lavish, we were content in the knowledge that our jobs afforded us access to affordable healthcare which covered our spouses and children. There was a promise on some security at the end of line in our retirement through IPERS. I emphasize that it was the total package, not just the salary, that made teaching financially feasible for my family and my colleagues. It was our love of teaching that made teaching a lifelong pursuit.Throughout the years our compensation fluctuated along with the health of the economy, and the unique challenges each community faced such as declining enrollment. Concessions were made on both sides and they ironed out a deal. The union has always been sensitive to the challenges many communities have faced over the years. Contract after contract came and went without strikes, and vindictive retaliation. When times were tough, my colleagues joined together and agreed to lower wages. My wife and I invested a considerable amount of our own funds when resources were lean in the classroom, as did our colleagues. Appeals from my wife's colleagues to help out with students in need, were met with many acts of generosity from teachers and paraprofessionals. The political malice embedded in the effort will gradually erode the compensation for teachers and their families. The clear threats to IPERS creates instability making teaching less attractive as a career. For more than thirty years officials across the state have complained that our finest young minds are fleeing the state after college, opting for more attractive opportunities in other parts of the country. Recruiters from all over the country flock to career fairs for teachers at the University of Northern Iowa because they know we produce talented teachers. Gutting Chapter 20 will only contribute to our brain drain. Please stop this action. It will only serve to hurt teacher, split communities, and diminish that quality of education for the students of Iowa.Sent from Outlook
02-13-2017
Michelle Custer []
CON
This is a bad idea for education. I wonder how many great future teachers will leave Iowa for a neighboring state that honors negotiation and will no doubt offer a better benefits package and pay than Iowa.
02-13-2017
Michelle Breach [ Educator]
CON
Collective bargaining has worked well for public employees and for taxpayers in Iowa for over 40 years. This is not a small change, but a very partisan attempt to silence workers who deserve a voice.
02-13-2017
Susan Bixenman []
CON
Eroding away at the what has made Iowa a great place to teach and raise a family is not in the State's interest. State Employees are our solid middle class. We stay in Iowa, we pay taxes, and we raise our families here. I am very concerned at my ability to make ends meet as a single mother of three if my insurance rates will go up, my benefits will decrease, I will effectively take a pay cut, and I will have no job security. I have two children who attend ISU and their tuition and fees are going up as well. How will attract and keep our youth here? Who will want to be a civil servant??
02-13-2017
Jessica Dowell [Teacher]
CON
Removing collective bargaining undermines worker protection for teachers and all municipal workers and others who rely on it. Moving in this direction, along with many perceived attacks on programs that benefit the constituency appears to be designed to develop a class system based on cash flow. This is antipathetic to the premises this country is founded on. I, along with many others, am concerned that this current political maneuvering is going to result in devastating consequences for all. Technology enables many to weigh in on decisions. It seems it would behoove the representation to poll their constituency for better representation of the majority.
02-13-2017
Anonymous [N/A]
CON
If you pass this bill I guarantee you that the 2018 elections will be very bad for its yea voters.
02-13-2017
Doug Sanders [Self]
CON
Once again the legislature will pay later for their attempt to stick it to teachers and public workers. They thought their rule of 85 would get rid of the OLD teachers. All it did is give all teachers a way to leave teaching and retire early...But as some of you may remember there were no teachers to replace the ones that left. School boards also found out that to replace the Old teachers cost them more than they were willing to pay. Rural schools use to hire the farm wife that could teach. But now their are fewer farms and fewer unqualified applicants. Unless of course this assault on public workers by the legislature is a backdoor attempt to close small school districts and force county services to merge.That sure will get you all reelected. LOL
02-13-2017
Karene Nagel [Iowan]
CON
Everyone is always stressing and upset about Iowa losing its' youth or our younger declining population; so why would we want to pass this legislation!! This will clearly have a very negative impact on our workforce and the best potential employees will leave our state or simply never come to our state. This won't just negatively effect public wmployees either, because it will drag down the quality of all jobs; especially when paired with the minimum wage legislation.
02-13-2017
Kenneth O. Myers [1975]
CON
HF 291 strips away the rights of some of the most vital workers in our state and local government. It will allow the state to dictate terms to workers who will have no negotiating power, and no recourse to other action when they are inevitably forced to accept a bad deal. Collective bargaining is the only mechanism to balances the scales of power between employers and workers. Without it, workers have no leverage at the bargaining table, and negotiations are rendered onesided and meaningless.HF 291 will undermine workers, and destroy a historically reliable path into the middle class. Please listen to the voices of the voters who urge you to reject this harmful legislation.
02-13-2017
Sandy Barker [DCGSCHOOLS ]
CON
Vote NO!
02-13-2017
Anonymous [Individual]
CON
Please, for the sake of our hardworking teachers, nurses, and other union workers, REJECT this bill.It's not good for a Iowa workers and not good for Iowa.
02-13-2017
Christina Weitz [Speaking for myself as a citizen]
CON
Hello, My name is Christy Weitz. My husband and I are both teachers here in Iowa. We teach because we want to make a difference in the lives of our students and we feel strongly that our work is vital to a strong community and a strong Iowa. The pay is enough to raise our two kids modestly and provide health insurance for them. Knowing we can depend on IPERS also provides stability and financial peace. Unfortunately, it appears that Iowa Republicans are now working against our family's interest. This collective bargaining law change is a great blow to the morale of teachers. The original law took away the right to strike, while giving us collective bargaining protections. These changes now take away our rights without providing anything in return. When I graduated from the University of Iowa in 2003, I was recruited by a visiting district representative from Houston, Texas. Their pay and benefits were significantly better than what I would have received in Iowa. I preferred to live in Iowa, but with student loans to pay, the offer from Houston was too good to pass up. After several years, my husband and I decided to move home to Iowa to teach and raise our family here. We love Iowa, were raised in Iowa, and want only the best for Iowa's students. Unfortunately, when new teachers coming out of Iowa's universities see these changes, moving to a different state will be more enticing than ever. We will lose our best and brightest teachers and see worsening teacher shortages in our more rural districts.No teacher that I know is lazy or entitled. Everyone I work with works hard for the good of our students and deserves to have their voice heard. Please slow down the process and take the time to listen to the stakeholders. Give us a place a the table. The changes as they stand are simply too extreme.Respectfully,Christy Weitz
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
We need to protect Iowa's workers. Especially teachers! This will do serious, permanent damage. Please vote no.
02-13-2017
Emily Mineart []
CON
Because of this legislation, many of the education majors at the college where I work are thinking about relocating to Minnesota after graduation instead of staying in Iowa. If passed, this legislation will drive away good teachers. Let's NOT gut collective bargaining keep quality teachers in Iowa!
02-13-2017
Dennis L. Smith [NA]
CON
Do NOT pass this illadvised bill into law. You are messing with more than 40 years of highly successful governance that was enacted under our last reasonable Republican governor, Robert D. Ray. By even considering this bill you are distespecting his legacy and the hard work of tens of thousands of public workers in Iowa who, together with their hundreds of thousands of allies, WILL remember your actions at the polls come 2018. And we WILL overturn this law and reinstate the regimen that has served Iowa well for decades. Count on it.
02-13-2017
Emma LeValley [Teacher at PCM Community Schools]
CON
I have submitted a Word document that I also sent to several state senators.
Attachment
02-13-2017
Tresa Dietrich [CSEA / ISEA]
CON
Works well in our state. Doesn't need to be fixed... IT IS NOT BROKEN!!
02-13-2017
Tanya [Lemburg]
CON
I am a teacher leader in a collaborative school environment. I am concerned about the speed at which this bill is passing through without input from the people who it will affect. Please provide additional time for the details of the bill (how will pay be determined? Who will decide who gets what?) to be determined or if these have been determined, please provide me with the tools I need to implement them.
02-13-2017
Kathy Buzza [not representing any organization, just myself]
CON
I'm opposed to HF 291, as I think it will have farreaching detrimental and disheartening impacts on civil servants and teachers. The law is similar to the one passed by the Wisconsin legislature and from what I've read, it's been difficult to find highlyqualified people who want to teach in Wisconsin or serve as a civil servant since the law there was enacted. I don't think we need any additional reasons for potential teachers or others to look outside of Iowa for employment. We want to keep great teachers and civil servants IN Iowa!
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
Collective bargaining protects the jobs of teachers like my wife, and thousands of other hardworking Iowans. When you remove the rights of teachers, you make Iowa less attractive to good teachers!
02-13-2017
Anthony Parisi [COGS UE 896]
CON
If this goes through, not only will you be hurting workers across the state, but institutions such as the University of Iowa will lose the very benefits that draws talent to departments. You know that this will happen, but someone still needs to say it to you.
02-13-2017
April Drew []
CON
The proposed bill to change collective bargaining is unfair to public workers, taking away our voice and our right to strike as a form of voicing our disagreement.
02-13-2017
Holly Sanger [self employed]
CON
This bill is harmful to public employees and is not designed to make life in Iowa any easier for the hard working and dedicated public employees who serve us. Please serve them, not big corporations!
02-13-2017
The Rev. Anne Edison-Albright []
CON
I am writing to oppose HF 291. When my family had the opportunity to move from Wisconsin to Iowa in August, 2016, one of the benefits we saw to the move was the excellent public education system in this state. Many people familiar with both Wisconsin and Iowa described Iowa as "like Wisconsin ... before Act 10." ("But better" was usually added ... Iowans are proud of their state!) Act 10a 2011 "Budget Repair Bill" which contained measures related to collective bargaining similar to HF 291was the start of devastating losses in a state that had been nationally known for excellence in education. I watched as top educators at all levels left the profession or the state. Those who stayed faced a hostile work environment. The students have lost the most in this political fight for power. I urge you to not follow Wisconsin's lead on this (or any other recent) legislative matter. Be Iowa. Be proud. Stand by our teachers and public schools.
02-13-2017
Nancy Johnson [DMEA]
CON
I do not support HF 291. Collective bargaining does not save taxpayer money, but it does give public employees the right to have a say in their contracts. Also, unions give women equal pay in the workforce!
02-13-2017
John Gordon [Registered Democrat]
CON
Free public education is an essential creator of a democratic society. We must fight attacks on public school educators to maintain our democratic way of life.
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
Putting aside the moral or ethical reasons for supporting the right to effective collective bargaining (points that I'm sure many people are making), I want to be a little more pragmatic in my urging. This is an issue of competitiveness and about the ability for public sector employers to attract the most qualified and attractive candidates. There are industry expectations (amongst primary and secondary teachers, for example) for collective bargaining that extends beyond salary concerns, to include things like healthcare.At my employer (the University of Iowa), graduate students are part of a union, which collectively bargains for a contract that includes salary, insurance, fee waivers, and more. As a faculty member who helps recruit new graduate students to Iowa, one of our biggest selling points is that there's a robust and effective union that advocates on behalf of teaching and research assistants. An effective union gives us a leg up against similarly situated peer institutions that are also competing to recruit the same students. If we lose these protections, we will have a much harder time competing with Big10 schools and other peer institutions, many of which pay a little better and have competitive benefits packages. My point is twofold: (1) the protections of collective bargaining are an inherent benefit of employment and help with our recruitment efforts; (2) that benefit and the protections it implies allow the state of Iowa to get a good deal on labor because people are willing to sacrifice a little pay for the advantages of a unionized workplace. There are many more reasons to keep the law as it is. I think that Chris Martin, a professor at UNI, does a good job of laying some of those out in his recent oped here: http://mediacrit.com/anopenlettertoiowarepublicanlegislators/In then end, I think it's incredibly important to maintain existing law and vote NO on this legislation. I truly believe that an affirmative vote with demoralize existing employees (causing some to seek other employment) and, in the case of graduate students at the University of Iowa, make it harder to recruit the best and brightest.
02-13-2017
Lara Newsom []
CON
I am strongly against the gutting of Iowa's collective Bargaining rights. This was not mandated by the election nor was it desired by the people of Iowa. We all understand this is being pushed by ALEC and out of state interests.This bill will cost our local economies by taking hundreds out of the pay checks of working class people. Local businesses will feel the effect of millions of dollars missing every single month. We will lose teachers over this crippling of their bargaining rights. We will lose talented employees all across the public sector as they leave Iowa to find better pay and benefits. My own family moved to Iowa for the excellent public schools and public universities. While I have heard many state representatives claiming this is "good" for Iowa schools, there are plenty of examples like Wisconsin that PROVE it will be disastrous. If this bill stands, and our public schools corrode, my family will leave the state, along with many other young families like mine. Housing prices will tank, businesses will lose the pool of professional talent that strong public schools attract, and Iowa will continue to lose more and more of its population, becoming less and less relevant at every census.We the people of Iowa are taking notes on who votes this bill through, because we will know for certain those are the people who do not care about our children, our public employees, or our future.
02-13-2017
Anonymous [Iowa City Community Schools]
CON
My understanding is that this bill would prohibit public employees from the practice of collective bargaining. I am very much against this. I feel that the state is using this tactic to reduce it's budget for public education. Costs can be reduced in other ways. Collective bargaining can streamline costs for districts. I cannot believe that this is being considered during times when national teacher shortages are being expected. I am very afraid that "merit pay" is part of what will be considered. This just forces teachers to put their time and energy into committees and works that make them appear to be doing so much for the district. What actually happens is that their time is taken away from students.
02-13-2017
Jane Wagner [HPEA]
CON
I am REPUBLICAN NO MORE. As a nearing 50 year old Generation X female, I have always identified as a conservative who tried to assimilate into our Iowa society using conventional means. I attended public schools, and earn a BA at UNI. I worked hard to get the knowledge, skills, and abilities to be worthy to earn a position in public service first in law enforcement, now after my Masters degree in education at the community college level. I have worked private sector....where I:1. Was paid less than my male peers....union work protects me now. 2. Saw older employees "bullied" out of their positions by supervisors....union work protects me. 3. Saw new management come in and clean house...union work protect this.4. Feared retribution if I spoke up about sexual harassment or any other issue.....union work protects me now. 5. Never had a place at the table to collaborate with my employers about work conditions, benefits, pay etc....Union work and most specifically INTEREST BASED BARGAINING...IMPROVES working relationships between supervisors and employees....I work harder for my employer because I know that I am treated fairly, with respect, and as a professional. If the argument is that unions protect bad workers, makes people lazy, costs too much...I say FOUL on all of this. I exceed what is asked, I am motivated and encouraged to grow professionally, and I counselled to improve if I fail. I am not thrown out or discarded and replaced with a shiny new model, but if I do commit a grievous error, there is cause to remove, and it does happen.The bill proposed also makes public any disciplinary action...this is NOT LEGAL IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR. Employee errors are NOT CRIMINAL ACTS, if they are then, then file charges...but to publicly shame someone is outrageous. And how long does it stay public? Will a simple error follow a person for life? Who does this?The gutting of Chapter 20 is not right for the hundred of thousands of people like me, who follow the rules, want to serve our fellow citizens in the jobs we hold, and who wish to remain productive contributors in the middle class. Taking away our collective professional voice at the table will silence our input on how to improve organizations. It isn't about what we can GET, it's how we can make and keep our organizations great through a collaborative process.Read the book "Good To Great"...it is 20 years old...but the message from the author's research is still valid: The BEST, MOST PROGRESSIVE ORGANIZATIONS USE A COLLABORATIVE APPROACH that is essentially Interest Based Bargaining...on a daily basis...causing respectful collaboration between leaders and laborers to find solutions to problems, distribute benefits between all, to ensure a positive and productive working culture because EVERYONE HAS A VOICE, EVERYONE HAS POWER, EVERYONE IS COLLECTIVE AND COLLABORATIVE IN THEIR APPROACH. Please, preserve Chapter 20, and if adjustments are needed let's collaborate to make it happen. Preserve my stake in Iowa's future by preserving my voice at the table. Jane Wagner
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I moved to Iowa twenty years ago knowing that Iowa would provide a good education and security for my children. I have not been disappointed.Unfortunately after excessive years in office our Governor has created a situation that now benefits corporations at the expense of residents. To penalize civil service employees to create a better environment for corporations is unacceptable.Thank You
02-13-2017
Anonymous [Iowa City Community School District]
CON
Changes would be detrimental to teachers and all public employees, and therefore our students. We deserve resources and compensation to best serve our students. Don't put Iowa further behind. Education should be a top priority.
02-13-2017
Jim Ferguson [Mr.]
CON
Why are Republicans beating up on the middle class? They are after health care, public schools, collective bargaining, Planned Parenthood, voting rights, immigration, gun safety and anything that has Obama's name on it. They want to provide public money to private and charter schools. Money talks and purchases public favor and positions. I am a former school administrator who supports teachers' right to negotiate their contracts.
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
My concern is collective bargaining, arbitration, and timing of this bill.
02-13-2017
Matthew Butler []
CON
If the legislature is making an exception for public safety employees, they are tacitly agreeing that collective bargaining is important.This is simply an underhanded political move that exposes the Iowa Legislature's contempt for the backbone of the state working people . Do no sabotage our agreed upon and legal rights.
02-13-2017
Anonymous [Teacher]
CON
Please look at statistics of what happened in Wisconsin since Act 10 passed. There is a teacher shortage and their governor has now proposed over $500,000 to education to recoup losses. Teachers know what is best to educate our students and we need a voice to make our state the best in the nation. I would like to invite a state representative into our school during one of our inservice days. Please come see what we do and ask us what we think should be done to make learning better for our students. We are the trained professionals and want our students to succeed as much if not more than you. Let's work together to make Iowa great. Let's not strip us of every right we currently have to cause teachers to leave the profession.
02-13-2017
martin gordon [Retired....Mason City Personnel Director...Chief Negotiator]
CON
TEACHERS NOW BECOME INDENTURED SERVANTS WITH THIS PROPOSAL TO ELIMINATE EVERY ASPECT OF INDIVIDUAL WORTH AND PERSONAL GROWTH.I WAS THE ORIGINAL NEGOTIATOR IN 1973 FOR THE TEACHING CONTRACT AND FOR ALL 6 CONTRACTS FOR THE DISTRICT UNTIL 2008..RETIREMENT. I AM 85 AND IT IS DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND HOW SUCH AN IMPACTING DOCUMENT AFFECTING 184,000 WORKERS COULD BE 'SLIPPED IN' WITH SUCH TREMENDOUS IMPACTS ON INDIVIDUALS SUCH AS 'AT WILL'TERMINATIONS. GOVENOR BRANSTAD USED HIS 'AT WILL'TERM ON GODFREY AND IS COSTING THE STATE 60,000 DOLLARS SO FAR TO GET OUT FROM UNDER.AS A PERSONNEL DIRECTOR, IOWA WILL LOSE..LOSE...LOSE QUALITY TEACHERS AND NOT BE ABLE TO COMPETE WITH OTHER STATES AT TEACHER FAIRS..BECAUSE THE WORKING AND LIVING POTENTIAL IS SO NEGATIVE..NEGATIVE.NOTHING TO SAY ABOUT WORK DAY...WORK HOURS...EVALUATION...CHANCE OF IMPROVEMENT...AND NO LEGETIMATE OUTLET..TO RESPOND TO 'AT WILL'CHARGES FROM WHOMEVER.THE LACK OF PREVIOUS DISCUSSIONS FOR SUCH A SWEEPING BLADE OF HEALTHY AND SENSIBLE PRACTICES IS SO DIFFICULT TO ACCEPT.THE LOSS OF 'PERSONAL INTEGRITY' IS TOO MUCH TO LOSE TO WORK IN IOWA.
02-13-2017
Anonymous [COGS UE-Local 896]
CON
I urge you to vote NO on Chapter 20 changes. As the Iowa Policy Project has said, these changes to 119,000 working Iowans lives would: Cost the taxpayers substantial amounts of money Create more red tape in government Decrease accountability Lower Iowans wages Accelerate brain drain Increase income inequality Disproportionately hurt rural areas of Iowa Widen the gender pay gap Cause staff shortages in education and in health careAs the Labor Center has noted, the current bargaining law, Chapter 20, was a carefullycrafted compromise based on input from labor, legislators, and the public that has worked well for over 40 years. The current bill was designed behind closed doors without public input or discussion. There is no reason to rush through drastic changes to the law that would hurt Iowans.
02-13-2017
Justin Smith [2989 Local Union]
CON
I vote against this bill HF 291. I have worked for the Iowa State Penitentiary for five years. This job supports my family not with just the money but also helps with health care and the well being of my family. I have a loving wife and two kids that rely on me for the living circumstances that we are in today. This makes myself rely on state benefits and what the state allows to make this so called living. My job should allow the bargaining right to make sure that the state is being fair. I work hard at my job and give my everything to make sure I come home everyday to my family. My job is already stressful enough with what I deal with daily. I do not want to not have to think during the day "I hope we can pay our bills this week while dealing with the daily stresses of convicts while trying to keep myself and the public safe." This job doesn't just support my family, but it also supports the teachers that our teaching our future generation. We need to keep Iowa as a desirable place for families to be raised not making it a place where families do not feel safe to live.
02-13-2017
Grant Hobin []
CON
Republicans need to listen to the public, not outside dark money forces like Americans for Prosperity or ALEC.There has been no evidence given to show that this will make education better in Iowa.
Attachment
02-13-2017
Ken Herring [Self Employeed, retired DNR]
CON
My name is Ken Herring. I am retired from the Iowa DNR. In my tenure I worked on both sides of collective bargaining. I worked to organize biologists, scientists, and foresters under IUP (Iowa United Professionals). Later, in my career I was promoted into supervisory positions and ultimately supervised more than 550 professional conservation employees. My experience and comments draw from 34 years of experience using chapter 20 as a guideline for myself in both roles as an employee covered by collective bargaining and as a supervisor, using chapter 20 to guide my conduct and supervisory actions. I find it entirely ridiculous that legislators who never managed public workers are alleging that chapter 20 is outdated. This is like saying our US Constitution is outdated. To the contrary, it provides a consistent set of logical steps for both employees and supervisors with a broad application to current and past workplace conflicts. The current law was well thought out with consideration from affected parties. It is a good law and at best, should not be thrown out lest the baby be tossed out along with. One problem does exist in the application of benefits agreed upon in collective bargaining. It has become an entitlement practice of our Governor to give nonunion and upper salary administrative staff and supervisors the same benefits or in many cases greater financial benefits that what union employees negotiated. For example, mid to lower level union workers negotiated a 2% wage increase for each of a two year period. A state worker who makes $40K/year gains an extra $30/ paycheck. The same salary increase gets automatically passed along to upper level administrative staff/supervisors who make $80100K. This means they add $16002000 annually or up to $80/per check. How does this sit with Iowans who universally value fair play? How is it that the practice of restricting the bargaining rights of the middle class while awarding significant salary bumps and health care benefits to the higher paid administrative and supervisory employees is in effect an entitlement? The problem I mention is personified by recent revelations that legislators have broken the law and awarded themselves health care benefits in excess of union negotiated advances. Legislators, I implore you to slow down this legislation and relegate it to a standing study committee. You are replacing long standing, delicate and impactful legislation. The legislation you are replacing was done over a multiyear period with lots of input, and signed into law by a Republican Governor that Iowans respected and loved. To speed along the replacement of Chapter 20 without due diligence is a recipe for carelessness at best. The first step to intelligent tinkering is to save the parts! Aldo Leopold
02-13-2017
Anonymous [University of Iowa]
CON
I urge you to vote NO on Chapter 20 changes. As the Iowa Policy Project has said (link), these changes to 119,000 working Iowans lives would:Cost the taxpayers substantial amounts of moneyCreate more red tape in governmentDecrease accountabilityLower Iowans wagesAccelerate brain drainIncrease income inequalityDisproportionately hurt rural areas of IowaWiden the gender pay gapCause staff shortages in education and in health careAs the Labor Center has noted (link), the current bargaining law, Chapter 20, was a carefullycrafted compromise based on input from labor, legislators, and the public that has worked well for over 40 years. The current bill was designed behind closed doors without public input or discussion. There is no reason to rush through drastic changes to the law that would hurt Iowans.
02-13-2017
Rachel Clark [University of Iowa Neuroscience Graduate Program]
CON
I urge you to vote NO on Chapter 20 changes. As the Iowa Policy Project has said (link), these changes to 119,000 working Iowans lives would:Cost the taxpayers substantial amounts of moneyCreate more red tape in governmentDecrease accountabilityLower Iowans wagesAccelerate brain drainIncrease income inequalityDisproportionately hurt rural areas of IowaWiden the gender pay gapCause staff shortages in education and in health careAs the Labor Center has noted (link), the current bargaining law, Chapter 20, was a carefullycrafted compromise based on input from labor, legislators, and the public that has worked well for over 40 years. The current bill was designed behind closed doors without public input or discussion. There is no reason to rush through drastic changes to the law that would hurt Iowans.
02-13-2017
Dain TePoel [University of Iowa]
CON
I urge you to vote NO on Chapter 20 changes. As the Iowa Policy Project has said (link), these changes to 119,000 working Iowans lives would:Cost the taxpayers substantial amounts of moneyCreate more red tape in governmentDecrease accountabilityLower Iowans wagesAccelerate brain drainIncrease income inequalityDisproportionately hurt rural areas of IowaWiden the gender pay gapCause staff shortages in education and in health careAs the Labor Center has noted (link), the current bargaining law, Chapter 20, was a carefullycrafted compromise based on input from labor, legislators, and the public that has worked well for over 40 years. The current bill was designed behind closed doors without public input or discussion. There is no reason to rush through drastic changes to the law that would hurt Iowans.
02-13-2017
Syeda Momina Tabish [University of Iowa COGS]
CON
I urge you to vote NO on Chapter 20 changes. As the Iowa Policy Project has said (link), these changes to 119,000 working Iowans lives would:Cost the taxpayers substantial amounts of moneyCreate more red tape in governmentDecrease accountabilityLower Iowans wagesAccelerate brain drainIncrease income inequalityDisproportionately hurt rural areas of IowaWiden the gender pay gapCause staff shortages in education and in health careAs the Labor Center has noted (link), the current bargaining law, Chapter 20, was a carefullycrafted compromise based on input from labor, legislators, and the public that has worked well for over 40 years. The current bill was designed behind closed doors without public input or discussion. There is no reason to rush through drastic changes to the law that would hurt Iowans.
02-13-2017
Nikolaos Maggos [COGS - UE Local 896]
CON
I urge you to vote NO on Chapter 20 changes. As the Iowa Policy Project has said, these changes to 119,000 working Iowans lives would:1. Cost the taxpayers substantial amounts of money2. Create more red tape in government3. Decrease accountability4. Lower Iowans wages5. Accelerate brain drain6. Increase income inequality7. Disproportionately hurt rural areas of Iowa8. Widen the gender pay gap9. Cause staff shortages in education and in health careAs the Labor Center has noted, the current bargaining law, Chapter 20, was a carefullycrafted compromise based on input from labor, legislators, and the public that has worked well for over 40 years. The current bill was designed behind closed doors without public input or discussion. There is no reason to rush through drastic changes to the law that would hurt Iowans.
02-13-2017
Diane Williams [University of Iowa, COGS ]
CON
I am a proud member of the graduate student union, COGS, at the University of Iowa. The union and the benefits they have bargained for are two of the main reasons I came to Iowa for school. Please do not destroy our collective bargaining rights.I urge you to vote NO on Chapter 20 changes. As the Iowa Policy Project has said, these changes to 119,000 working Iowans lives would: Cost the taxpayers substantial amounts of money Create more red tape in government Decrease accountability Lower Iowans wages Accelerate brain drain Increase income inequality Disproportionately hurt rural areas of Iowa Widen the gender pay gap Cause staff shortages in education and in health careAs the Labor Center has noted, the current bargaining law, Chapter 20, was a carefullycrafted compromise based on input from labor, legislators, and the public that has worked well for over 40 years. The current bill was designed behind closed doors without public input or discussion. There is no reason to rush through drastic changes to the law that would hurt Iowans.
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
Education research shows fairly definitively that teachers working collaboratively improves student achievement. The proposed changes to Chapter 20 will push teachers into a competitive rather than collaborative environment, as has happened in other states when similar legislation went into effect. This will hurt student achievement.
02-13-2017
Katie Owen [Sumner-Fredericksburg Schools]
CON
Removing collective bargaining and silencing the voices closest to the classrooms will prove to be detrimental to schools. Members of the legislation should visit the classrooms on a routinely basis so they can actually see how classrooms operate on their tight budgets and other strict regulations before they make any drastic decisions. It is scary to think about how we are going to attract new quality educators to this profession if an educator's career keeps taking these hard punches. I truly am concerned about the future of our education system as an educator and mother of a future student.
02-13-2017
Anonymous [University of Iowa graduate student]
CON
I am a graduate student at the University of Iowa, and I urge you to vote no on HSB 48. This bill would gut our graduate student union's ability to negotiate for health coverage, and the university's deans have indicated that they will take full advantage of the law to take away our health care.As a lifelong Republican, I understand the need to balance budgets and save money where possible. However, this is the wrong way to go about it; the university has seen a huge proliferation of administrators, and many of them have very generous compensations. To save money by taking benefits away from the poorest and most vulnerable members of the university is simply wrong.Let me put my concerns in concrete numbers: as graduate students, we make just over $18000 a year. Currently, my subsidized insurance rate for myself and my infant daughter for UIowa's Ship insurance (the cheaper of the two plans offered by the university) is $264.60 for my daughter and $16.50 for myself. As you can see, even at the subsidized rates, my insurance premiums represent a significant portion of my income. If we were to lose the subsidy, though, my rates would skyrocket to $165 and my daughter's to $882. There is, of course, no way that I could afford more than a thousand dollars a month for health insurance on a salary of just over $18000. I simply do not know what I would do if I lost my universitysubsidized health insurance. If you would like to verify these numbers, please visit https://hr.uiowa.edu/benefits/studenthealthinsurancerates20162017.When I decided to matriculate at the University of Iowa, I was drawn by the university's benefits. I had multiple offers to attend graduate school, but I chose the University of Iowa because its compensation plan was decent, and the university's health care plan was something with which I was particularly impressed. Taking away our benefits not only harms the current graduate students, but it also impairs the university's abilities to recruit the highestcaliber incoming graduate students as well. I certainly would never have matriculated at Iowa if I was not offered health insurance as part of my benefits package. I urge you to vote no on this billit focuses costsaving measures on the weakest and most vulnerable public employees instead of cutting costs from the top down. This not only harms the current students, but it will also severely impact Iowa's ability to recruit top graduate students in the future. The University of Iowa has a strong national reputation, and bills like this diminish its national reputation.
02-13-2017
Kristian Svennevig []
CON
Collective bargaining is what sets the precedent for fair treatment of employees in our society. Dismantling that is an attack on society. In that it has a ripple effect in the private sector and an effect of giving teachers a reason to leave Iowa. That has a great impact on our student population. Despite claims that unions keep mediocre employees, school districts do remove bad teachers. They just have to have just cause. Allowing an employer to fire a worker without just cause opens the door for racism, culturalism, Gender bias and any other form of discrimination to occur. That is unhealthy for society. A workplace free from these types of discrimination is the essence of fair and just employment. Dismantling collective bargaining is a symptom of leadership that has complete disregard for fair treatment in the workplace. If the tables were turned, would you want someone to fire you at a whim or silence your voice like you are trying to silence the voice of all teachers, nurses, firefighters, police, etc. do not do to us what you wouldn't want done to yourselves. Wisconsin tried this and it put their system in crisis! Why would your willfully go down the same road?
02-13-2017
Sherri Bogue []
CON
My state senator, Brad Zaun, cited to me two reasons for support of this legislation increased student achievement and lower tax rate. The supporters of this bill need to show data how the legislation will achieve its goals. If the supporters cannot show the data, the bills should not be passed. Places where unions are strong, economies are strong. I can only conclude that supporters of this legislation hope to weaken Iowa's economy. I live in Johnston, which has a very high property tax rate. I am glad that my taxes go to such quality schools. The schools and the children of our city are worth every cent. I'm happy to pay high taxes for such a worthy cause.
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I urge you to vote NO on Chapter 20 changes. As the Iowa Policy Project has said (link), these changes to 119,000 working Iowans lives would: Cost the taxpayers substantial amounts of money Create more red tape in government Decrease accountability Lower Iowans wages Accelerate brain drain Increase income inequality Disproportionately hurt rural areas of Iowa Widen the gender pay gap Cause staff shortages in education and in health careAs the Labor Center has noted (link), the current bargaining law, Chapter 20, was a carefullycrafted compromise based on input from labor, legislators, and the public that has worked well for over 40 years. The current bill was designed behind closed doors without public input or discussion. There is no reason to rush through drastic changes to the law that would hurt Iowans.
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I am against HF 291. I pray you vote this down. As a DCS employee, I believe it will not only personally impact my family but also our communities in negative ways. I have been a state employee for about 18 years. I have appreciated my benefits and job. I worry for the safety of our communities. Sincerely, Sherri Miene
02-13-2017
Marta Nelson [Mrs.]
CON
Public employees deserve the right to collaborate with employers and discuss what they need. Public employees are often at the mercy of supervisors, for good or bad. Removal of just cause is a tragedy for us; if this had been the case, I know many teachers who would have been fired due to clashes with supervisors. As a traveling music teacher, I was often caught between schedules in 3 or 4 buildings. It is only because of my bargaining unit that I had equitable building duties; had time to go to the restroom; had reasonable time to travel between buildings and get setup for the next class; had a full lunch period; had planning time equal to classroom teachers.Do not treat teachers as second class employees they are professionals. The possible gutting of collective bargaining has public employees everywhere off balance, losing sleep & stressed out. I have identified with Republican values for nearly 40 years. Now the people I voted for want to throw me and my fellow public employees under the bus. If these punitive measures pass, I will no longer be voting for those who helped push it through.
02-13-2017
Rachel Connell [University of Iowa]
CON
I urge you to vote NO on Chapter 20 changes. As the Iowa Policy Project has said (link), these changes to 119,000 working Iowans lives would:Cost the taxpayers substantial amounts of moneyCreate more red tape in governmentDecrease accountabilityLower Iowans wagesAccelerate brain drainIncrease income inequalityDisproportionately hurt rural areas of IowaWiden the gender pay gapCause staff shortages in education and in health careAs the Labor Center has noted (link), the current bargaining law, Chapter 20, was a carefullycrafted compromise based on input from labor, legislators, and the public that has worked well for over 40 years. The current bill was designed behind closed doors without public input or discussion. There is no reason to rush through drastic changes to the law that would hurt Iowans.
02-13-2017
Anonymous [University of Iowa]
CON
I urge you to vote NO on Chapter 20 changes. As the Iowa Policy Project has said, these changes to 119,000 working Iowans lives would:Cost the taxpayers substantial amounts of moneyCreate more red tape in governmentDecrease accountabilityLower Iowans wagesAccelerate brain drainIncrease income inequalityDisproportionately hurt rural areas of IowaWiden the gender pay gapCause staff shortages in education and in health careAs the Labor Center has noted, the current bargaining law, Chapter 20, was a carefullycrafted compromise based on input from labor, legislators, and the public that has worked well for over 40 years. The current bill was designed behind closed doors without public input or discussion. There is no reason to rush through drastic changes to the law that would hurt Iowans.
02-13-2017
Karen Wallace [taxpayer, private sector employee]
CON
Both the content of this legislation and the process by which it has been drafted are disturbing. The legislation itself is misguided. It disrespects both the public and the employees who teach our children, plow and repair our streets, run our courts, and perform many other critical duties. Undervaluing these services and not giving those who provide them a seat at the table will make it difficult to recruit and retain qualified, dedicated employees. A fair bargaining process allows the employer and employee to come together to negotiate a mutually beneficial contract. It ensures our public employees have fair compensation, which helps Iowa's economy. The bill appears to have been drafted based on outofstate, big money interests with no attempt to involve Democrats. Fasttracking the legislation hampers public input. Even so, thousands of Iowans have turned out at rallies to oppose this legislation, and the public comments on this legislation seems to be running against it by a large margin. I hope to see Republicans consider these public comments and weigh Iowans' interests before they vote. I urge all legislators to vote against this bill.
02-13-2017
Anonymous [University of Iowa]
CON
I strongly urge you to vote NO on Chapter 20 changes. As the Iowa Policy Project has said, these changes to 119,000 working Iowans' lives would cost the taxpayers substantial amounts of money and lower Iowans' wages. People working hard and contributing to the health, safety, and education of all Iowans have the right to fair compensation. In addition to increasing inequality, it would dramatically accelerate 'brain drain' as professors and graduate students would simply leave Iowa to pursue better opportunities. This would, as a result, negatively impact the education for millions of Iowans, as well as hurt the economy.I strongly urge you to vote NO on Chapter 20 changes. The current bargaining law, Chapter 20, was a carefullycrafted compromise based on input from labor, legislators, and the public that has worked well for over 40 years. The current bill was designed behind closed doors without public input or discussion. There is no reason to rush through drastic changes to the law that would hurt Iowans. Please say NO. Thank you for your representation of these views.
02-13-2017
Anne Silander []
CON
I am now retired, but my career in the helping professions was as a nursing assistant at UIHC and later as a paraeducator in a public school setting. I implore you to vote against this bill. This bill strips dignity, respect, support and resources necessary for workers to do their jobs caring for Iowa's children, caring for patients in hospitals and clinics, those providing emergency services and law enforcement assistance.I gladly worked hard to care for patients and children during my career of 30 years, but this bill will perpetuate the exodus of young people from our state, changing Iowa's culture and hurting, not helping Iowa's economy.You all should try working for one week as a teacher or health care provider in one of our public institutions. You have no idea how hard we work!To the Republican majority if you pass this HF 291 (formerly HSB 84), I think you're making it perfectly clear that you care nothing for ordinary Iowans.Respectfully, Anne Silander
02-13-2017
Lyle Otte [None]
CON
I oppose HF 291. It is nothing more than a partisan attack on public employee rights and organizations. I know what teaching was like before 1975 when there was no bargaining law or fair termination law. Do not go back to those bad old days.
02-13-2017
Sara Hales [COGS (University of Iowa)]
CON
The bargaining work that the grad student/worker union has done at the University of Iowa to move toward an environment of fair wages and quality of life for graduate students is one of the main reasons I came to UI for my graduate education. It has helped make Iowa my home. Now those benefits that keep me from going into massive debt are being threatened.As the Labor Center has noted (link), the current bargaining law, Chapter 20, was a carefullycrafted compromise based on input from labor, legislators, and the public that has worked well for over 40 years. The current bill was designed behind closed doors without public input or discussion. The process is shady, but the threat this bill poses to Iowa workers and the increase in "brain drain" it would cause in this state is truly alarming. There is no reason to rush through drastic changes to the law that would hurt Iowans.
02-13-2017
Anonymous [Carlisle Community Schools ]
CON
Please allow Iowa public employees a place at the table to bargain for their health insurance and other benefits. Our work as public school teachers serves a vital purpose to the function of our state and we should retain the right to have a voice in the terms of our employment.
02-13-2017
Sameena Noetzel [Green Hills AEA]
CON
I am writing in the hopes that legislators voting in favor of this bill might change your vote. Taking away all our negotiating abilities is going to devalue everything we do.None of do this for the money. We work tirelessly for our kids and they are our kids. But by not giving us a voice in our benefits (and we don't ask for much, just take a look at our contracts) you may make us pick between the kids in our house and the kids at our school. Our kids at home need insurance and parents who can support them.Please look at the devastating effects these laws have had in Arizona and Wisconsin. These states can no longer retain quality teachers.We deal with challenging students who need high quality teachers who deserve support from their communities and that includes the legislative body.Please support our schools.
02-13-2017
Matthew Brorby [Iowa Student]
CON
I agree, in part, with the sentiment of the Republican representatives in the state legislature that want to push this bill through. Unions can be powerful forces that demand too much of employers and of the taxpayers that pay them. The existence of a union can set up a dynamic that is only adversarial between employees and employers. However, this bill categorically goes too far.If the Republicans TRULY wanted the taxpayers to have more of a voice when it comes to state employees compensation, then changing the rules of arbitration is ALL that needed to be done. Why take everything off the table? Simply allow an arbiter to consider the good of the taxpaying public when it comes to contract negotiation. The bill that has come forward is clearly a means to bustup all nonpublic safety unions in the state. It is ideologically motivated, and not necessarily in the public's interest.I urge the Republicans to talk across the aisle and rewrite this bill in a way that strikes a balance between the good of the taxpayers and of the state employees.As a graduate student at the University of Iowa, I would like to tell the legislatures that I, and others, would not have come here if it weren't for the excellent benefits and fair wages that were offered. But, by offering this compensation, I did choose to come here and as a result I have brought in nearly $100,000 in grant money during my graduate career and have contributed to building the reputation of the Physics & Astronomy department.As Republicans you must know, to get the best employees, you must offer some of the best compensation packages. If Iowa wants to be competitive with other Big Ten schools around the country, it must continue to offer these benefits to potential students. If not, it is a slippery slope to the bottom.PLEASE do not pass this bill!Regards,Matthew BrorbyGraduate StudentDepartment of Physics & AstronomyUniversity of Iowa
02-13-2017
Anonymous [The University of Iowa - COGS]
CON
Don't take away my family's benefits and salary!
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I urge you to vote NO on Chapter 20 changes. As the Iowa Policy Project has said, these changes to 119,000 working Iowans lives would:Cost the taxpayers substantial amounts of moneyCreate more red tape in governmentDecrease accountabilityLower Iowans wagesAccelerate brain drainIncrease income inequalityDisproportionately hurt rural areas of IowaWiden the gender pay gapCause staff shortages in education and in health careAs the Labor Center has noted, the current bargaining law, Chapter 20, was a carefullycrafted compromise based on input from labor, legislators, and the public that has worked well for over 40 years. The current bill was designed behind closed doors without public input or discussion. There is no reason to rush through drastic changes to the law that would hurt Iowans.
02-13-2017
Justin Smith [2989 Local Union]
CON
I vote against this bill HF 291. I have worked for the Iowa State Penitentiary for five years. This job supports my family not with just the money but also helps with health care and the well being of my family. I have a loving wife and two kids that rely on me for the living circumstances that we are in today. This makes myself rely on state benefits and what the state allows to make this so called living. My job should allow the bargaining right to make sure that the state is being fair. I work hard at my job and give my everything to make sure I come home everyday to my family. My job is already stressful enough with what I deal with daily. I do not want to not have to think during the day "I hope we can pay our bills this week while dealing with the daily stresses of convicts while trying to keep myself and the public safe." This job doesn't just support my family, but it also supports the teachers that our teaching our future generation. We need to keep Iowa as a desirable place for families to be raised not making it a place where families do not feel safe to live.
02-13-2017
Susan Marcus Wilbois [National Association of Letter Carriers]
CON
This republican backed bill is an attack on our public employees. There will be more work environment bullying and no one will be able to protect themselves. My grandchildren's teachers and their families should not be subjected to such disrespect. Our nurses are the lowest paid in the entire 50 states. Our police and fire fighters know they will be next to be attacked by the republican controlled house and senate. Most teachers and nurses are women. Most police and fire fighters are men. The republicans continue to attack women and disrespect. As a retired federal employee who is also going to be attacked by the republican legislature at the national level, I will be an EXTREMELY VOCAL in electing more democrats to serve in every republican position in this country. WE DESERVE RESPECT FROM THE ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF IOWA AND THE USA. WE ARE NOT GETTING IT FROM REPUBLICANS AND HAVEN'T FOR OVER TWO DECADES. SHAME ON YOU ALL WHO ARE PAYING LESS FOR YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE THAN YOU WANT PUBLIC EMPLOYEES TO PAY. YOU ARE ALL HYPOCRITES!!!
02-13-2017
Anonymous [The University of Iowa]
CON
I believe that strong unions make Iowa stronger, and that when the rights of any worker are under attack, all working families are under attack. Please reject any changes to publicsector collective bargaining, or the rights of Iowa workers
02-13-2017
Matt Chapman []
CON
I would like to say that I didn't hear any of the pro senators or representatives campaigning on gutting the school budget or busting the unions. I think that this bill is yet another attempt at pitting folks against eachother by leaving public safety exempt from some of the language in the bill. From what I've seen they ain't havin it. They have spoke in defense of teachers. To demonize the people who teach are kids is bad for Iowa. To take money we pay in from state taxes and give it away through loopholes and tax credits is not good for middle and woking class Iowans. I would point out that our Governor not only takes the salary we pay, a hundred and thirty thousand dollars but still takes a fifty thousand dollar pension from serving before. In 2015 he payed two thousand seven hundred dollars and received a refund seven thousand three hundred for a profit of four thousand seven hundred dollars out of a pool we all contributed to. This sense of entitlement is the real drain on the funds we pay in by not just the richest Iowans but by giveaways through tax credits to big business many who are not even based her. The smell of this shameful legacy will stain our Governor as he leaves our state for his ambassador post and beyond. Shameful.
02-13-2017
Justin Smith [2989 Local Union]
CON
I vote against this bill HF 291. I have worked for the Iowa State Penitentiary for five years. This job supports my family not with just the money but also helps with health care and the well being of my family. I have a loving wife and two kids that rely on me for the living circumstances that we are in today. This makes myself rely on state benefits and what the state allows to make this so called living. My job should allow the bargaining right to make sure that the state is being fair. I work hard at my job and give my everything to make sure I come home everyday to my family. My job is already stressful enough with what I deal with daily. I do not want to not have to think during the day "I hope we can pay our bills this week while dealing with the daily stresses of convicts while trying to keep myself and the public safe." This job doesn't just support my family, but it also supports the teachers that our teaching our future generation. We need to keep Iowa as a desirable place for families to be raised not making it a place where families do not feel safe to live.
02-13-2017
Abigail A. Rury [University of Iowa]
CON
I urge you to vote NO on Chapter 20 changes. If it were not for the reasonable wages as well as tuition remission and medical benefits, I would not have attended the University of Iowa. COGS has worked for years to secure Iowa's graduate students a reasonable salary. That salary puts us right in the middle of Big Ten schools. Eliminating collective bargaining would strip studentsand Iowansof hard earned (and reasonable!) benefits. It will lead to diminished talent at the University of Iowa as scholars move outofstate. I was born and raised in Iowa, but I would have left the state to seek my education elsewhere. I am not alone. It will be difficult to encourage students to choose Iowa when they can have more at most other colleges and universities. The University of Iowa's reputation as a national leader will suffer.
02-13-2017
Helen G. Schroeder []
CON
Collective Bargaining *is* local control. Don't let the Koch Brothers run and ruin our state, too.
02-13-2017
Anonymous [citizen]
CON
As a retired teacher, I am strongly opposed to the massive changes planned to the collective bargaining law. I have seen how much more difficult it is to teach as each year passes and how much more stress teachers experience. One thing that has helped relieve some of the stress over the years was the knowledge of a contract that was jointly decided upon by the teachers and the administration making sure that both sides had fair treatment. I would also like to point out that many union members opt to not pay the part of their dues that go to support a PAC. I foresee teacher shortages, rural school closings, young educators leaving the state and an economic downturn as public employees have less money to spend within their communities and state. Please vote against these changes that were put out on such short notice and without thinking of the people who are on the front lines protecting our children on a daily basis. Thanks for reading this.
02-13-2017
Paul Gorski []
PRO
The Arbitration Section has to be changed in order to sustain our schools. This Bill does not specifically address SSA for schools however I'm told it will accomplish what we need. Time will tell.
02-13-2017
Erin Rial []
PRO
As a nonunion member of the general public working in the private sector I wanted to speak up for the public employees. I want them to know that they and their work is valued, by us everyday citizens. The collective bargaining rights that were codified in Chapter 20 are there for a good reason and they should be maintained. A 68 page 'tweak' on a 16 page law by the leaders of a party that promised to end public employee unions in their platform is not only disingenuous it is destructive to the mission of public employees that serve us daily. Vote no on HF291!
02-13-2017
Kenneth W Hanson []
CON
I oppose this legislation. It unfairly targets public employees who have done nothing to deserve this treatment.This bill is aimed at union busting and nothing more.My spouse is a public school teacher and we live and spend our money locally. Any changes to collective bargaining will lead us to reconsider where we live and spend our money.If this is such important legislation why is it being rushed through limiting public input and discussion? Why are police and firefighters exempt, other than to sway public opinion?
02-13-2017
Susan Cantine []
CON
This bill is an assault and an insult to every public employee in Iowa. I am a retired teacher. I would not encourage anyone to go into the teaching profession if this happens in our state. We lived in Kansas for 8 years and they played the same games. They have bankrupted the entire economy. You want growth in Iowa? , then don't try to fix something that isn't broken.
02-13-2017
Sue Body [Retired teacher]
CON
While Republicans tout that this bill is done in the name of local control, it's actually the opposite. It takes away the ability of the people involved to even discuss many issues that are pertinent to their jobs. The same is true of the proposed minimum wage freeze. It too removes the ability of counties or communities to increase minimum wage locally since the legislature refuses to do so. Also, if Republicans truly wanted a "public" hearing, it would be held in a larger location such as the House Chamber rather than room 103.
02-13-2017
Kristin Wildensee []
CON
This bill strips public sector unions of nearly all their rights. It creates a 2tier system with public safety (police, fire) able to keep existing rules while gutting bargaining rights for everyone else (teachers, road workers, corrections officers, etc.)Contrary to popular belief, Iowa public sector salaries are not exorbitant but rank in the middle nationally.IOWA NEEDS STRONG STATE EMPLOYMENT POLICIES THAT TREAT ALL WORKERS FAIRLY AND EQUALLY.TEACHERS AND PUBLIC WORKERS ARE PROFESSIONALS AND DESERVE A SEAT AT THE NEGOTIATION TABLE. WITH NO VOICE, WE HAVE NO RIGHTS.
02-13-2017
Audrey Scranton []
CON
I urge you to vote NO on Chapter 20 changes. As the Iowa Policy Project has said, these changes to 119,000 working Iowans lives would: Cost the taxpayers substantial amounts of money Create more red tape in government Decrease accountability Lower Iowans wages Accelerate brain drain Increase income inequality Disproportionately hurt rural areas of Iowa Widen the gender pay gap Cause staff shortages in education and in health careAs the Labor Center has noted (link), the current bargaining law, Chapter 20, was a carefullycrafted compromise based on input from labor, legislators, and the public that has worked well for over 40 years. The current bill was designed behind closed doors without public input or discussion. There is no reason to rush through drastic changes to the law that would hurt Iowans.
02-13-2017
Erin Rial []
CON
As a nonunion member of the general public working in the private sector I wanted to speak up for the public employees. I want them to know that they and their work is valued, by us everyday citizens. The collective bargaining rights that were codified in Chapter 20 are there for a good reason and they should be maintained. A 68 page 'tweak' on a 16 page law by the leaders of a party that promised to end public employee unions in their platform is not only disingenuous it is destructive to the mission of public employees that serve us daily. Vote no on HF291!
02-13-2017
Rachel Kauff [member: COGS]
CON
The benefits I have received as a graduate student at the University of Iowa, and which have been bargained for by our union have made it possible for myself and others in the arts to continue our careers in higher education, share our expertise with undergraduates, and contribute to the arts and culture of Iowa. Chapter 20 changes will effectively serve as a cut to the arts as well as the rights of public employees, as most in the arts would no longer be able to reasonably attend and work at state universities without the support of the union.I urge you to vote NO on Chapter 20 changes. As the Iowa Policy Project has said, these changes to 119,000 working Iowans lives would:Cost the taxpayers substantial amounts of moneyCreate more red tape in governmentDecrease accountabilityLower Iowans wagesAccelerate brain drainIncrease income inequalityDisproportionately hurt rural areas of IowaWiden the gender pay gapCause staff shortages in education and in health careAs the Labor Center has noted, the current bargaining law, Chapter 20, was a carefullycrafted compromise based on input from labor, legislators, and the public that has worked well for over 40 years. The current bill was designed behind closed doors without public input or discussion. There is no reason to rush through drastic changes to the law that would hurt Iowans.
02-13-2017
Rachel McPherson [University of Iowa, School of Education]
CON
I would like to ask the legislators who are in favor of HF 291 this: Who does this legislation serve and HOW does it serve them? If I understood how this piece of legislation would benefit our communities, then I would certainly be inclined to support it. But, for the life of me, I do not understand its purpose. I am not yet cynical enough to say that its purpose is to make those who already have money wealthier in the long run. But I am flabbergasted that not one legislator has yet made clear to myself and other teachers HOW this piece of legislation would aid in serving us and our communities. Please, give us a solid argument about HOW this bill would benefit teachers in Iowa. ("How" continues to be the key word here.) Thank you for listening.
02-13-2017
Nedra []
CON
I urge you to vote no to any changes in the collective process for public employees.
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
2/13/2017To Governor Branstad and Elected OfficialsI would have said good morning to you. But as you know there is a legislative agenda on the table this week that will affect my livelihood and many others that serve as public servants for our State of Iowa. Yes, it is a good morning because I'm still alive and able to serve my duties as a public servant today at a county jail. But what is happening with many public servant Iowans including myself with the Gutting of the Collective Bargaining Article 20 is wrong. If it makes sense to you and the rest of the GOP that are in favor of this, you are wrong. Knowing that this slap in the face to all Iowa Public Servants, that came from behind closed doors of some GOP meetings is wrong. I really believe that many people would have voted differently for our state government leaders including myself had I have known that the gutting of Article 20 was going to happen. You Terry Branstad are leaving this state as an appointee by President Trump to go to serve in China. So you could care less about the public servants whom serve this state on a daily basis. It has no effect on you other than you will be the one that uses your power and a stroke of a pen to change many people of this state their lives forever. Can the citizens of Iowa be certain they are going to have the best services we can provide by you signing this reckless unnecessary gutting of Article 20 of the collective bargaining agreement? You Governor Branstad have an issue with Unions, IPERS, Danny Homan, Mental Health facilities, and now all the citizens that are public servants that serve, protect, teach, and provide services to all citizens of Iowa. These citizens that are served are the most vulnerable from infant children, school aged children, mentally ill patients, incarcerated inmates, elderly citizens, public safety, and many others of this state. So can you see the effect you will have on so many citizensDo what God would want you to do from your heart. Please remember that youre a member of the Catholic Church I hope that you will do what is right for your sake. For you are taking your responsibilities of governing our state in the eyes of God. Remember God has the final say in this. I will hope and pray he will see it in the eyes of how the Public Servant sees it. May you consider the livelihood and welfare of the following public servants and the effect you will have on them and their families. If I missed any I apologize for that.1.Teachers2.Public Works3.Animal Control Officers4.Corrections Officers5.County Detention Officers6.Public Safety Officers7.Firefighters 8.And any others that I missed.Please Governor Branstad consider the following things and long term affect that could possibly happen to the many families that this possible imposed change will have on them. If we can only negotiate a wage, where is the protection for the other benefits that the public sector employers provide.The following things could possibly happen to families that are affected by this change.Human Casualties1.Loss of a Persons Job2.Divorce3.Broken Homes and Families4.Health Issues due to stress5.Alcohol and Drug Abuse6.Mental Health Issues7.Neglected Children8.Domestic Assault Cases9.Unable to Find a Job (Due to skills and Education)10.No Health Insurance11.No family vacations, because vacation has been stripped12.Homeless People including Children of these families13.Public Housing/ Gang and Drug Infestation14.More Crime = More jailsFinancial Casualties/Fraud Possibilities1.Bankrupting of Families2.Food from Food Pantry3.Food Stamps4.SSI/SSDI because of different reasons (Mentally, Physically)5.No Rainey Day savings6.Iowas Economy Suffers (No Jobs, less pay= No spending)7.Citizens, Students, Children Leave state of Iowa for other Jobs8.Real estate tumbles because of no buyers.9.Public Housing/ Gang and Drug Infestation10.More Crime= More JailsAll I can say is Governor Branstad consider the above as a list of possible consequences for all Citizens of Iowa at the stroke of your pen. This legislation affects everyone in Iowa, and all Iowans futures. We can no longer let you and a few of your constituents dictate what you think is right for our states public servants. It is so onesided.We the people that are Public Servants for this great state will not tolerate being pushed around by you and your constituents agenda. Please consider all that has been said here and use your heart and mind that God gifted you with to make the right Choice and life changing decision that you are considering to make. The word Choice is something we all make on a daily basis. May it be certain that the Choice of myself and many of the public servant employees will not let you and your constituents take Article 20 and our Right to Collective Bargaining away from us. Our Choice is to Let all of you know that our Voices will be heard! Remember the Key Word when deciding upon the citizens and public servants lives. The word is Choice!Thanks For ListeningBruce King
Attachment
02-13-2017
Anonymous [NA]
CON
I am very concerned about removing critical aspects of chapter 20. I have seen firsthand how important collective bargaining can be. It isn't just good for workers. It is good for employers trying to have fair and competitive salaries, benefits and trust with their employees. Negotiating creates outcomes everyone can live and work with, not just one side. Removing benefits, wage increases and many other protections from chapter 20 makes it difficult if not impossible for workers to get their needs met. This will drive out quality teachers from teaching and skilled laborers from Iowa.
02-13-2017
Anonymous [Public school ]
CON
Removing collective bargaining undermines worker protection for teachers and all municipal workers and others who rely on it. Moving in this direction, along with many perceived attacks on programs that benefit the constituency appears to be designed to develop a class system based on cash flow. This is antipathetic to the premises this country is founded on. I, along with many others, am concerned that this current political maneuvering is going to result in devastating consequences for all. Technology enables many to weigh in on decisions. It seems it would behoove the representation to poll their constituency for better representation of the majority.
02-13-2017
Dina Peone [University of Iowa]
CON
I strongly oppose the changes in chapter 20 that make health insurance and supplemental income nonmandatory and illegal topics of bargaining. Since 1974, the system in place has worked and kept peace between employers and their employees. I find it unfair that this bill was committed behind closed doors without a cooperative conversation with Democratic representatives. The working people of Iowa deserve fair representation and protection of their rights. To pass this bill would be to effectively take away the union which would mean destroying the infrastructure and the wellbeing of all Iowans. It would cause an outrage. To jeopardize the health insurance of public employees is nothing short of inhumane. There must be cuts that can be made to state spending that don't ruin a large portion of the citizens' lives and futures. In our current political climate, drastic changes without a constructive dialogue would cause major and irreparable damages to the community.
02-13-2017
Kevin Koepnick [Mr.]
CON
Iowas teachers are a resource like Iowas soil. They sustain us through difficult times, but are easily washed away when taken for granted.Effective teachers must be cultivated. It takes 57 years to develop a young teacher with potential into someone who can captivate a class, create masterful lessons and influence the development of colleagues.Great teachers are a precious resource. They have other choices for jobs. They chose education because of excellent benefits, a high degree of independence, job security, and genuine love for young people. As benefits, job security, independence, and wages are stripped away, it becomes more difficult for young people to make the choice to follow their hearts. As experienced teachers retire, or leave to follow better working conditions elsewhere, this precious teaching resource will be depleted.Please vote No to changes in HF 291.
02-13-2017
Miranda Cantrell [Public Servant]
CON
I urge the Iowa Legislature not to pass this measure. The current process works by and large, and stripping the public sector of its collective bargaining rights does nothing but hurt the middle class. This measure creates a chilling effect for young adults such as myself who wish to pursue a career in public service. Why should we take public sector jobs that provide no better benefits or protections than the private sector, while accepting a lower wage? Ideals can only take us so far this measure will accelerate Iowa's brain drain as workers choose other industries, or even more likely, move out of state in pursuit of employers who will better respect their needs. This measure benefits no one.
02-13-2017
Christa Shaeffer [Harlan Primary School]
CON
I disagree with this bill. It does nothing to help our schools in the way it needs. If this bill passes the entire community will be negatively impacted. The entire reason teachers teach will be impacted.This is not good for Iowa.
02-13-2017
Anonymous [none]
CON
I'm writing as a former (because I graduated!) member of COGS, the UI graduate student union, and a friend and colleague of incredibly hardworking educators and other public workers in Iowa. I urge you to vote against this bill (HF 291). Your responsibility as our representatives is to work with ALL those impacted by proposed changes such as this one, including the workers themselves, who deserve the support and dignity that collective bargaining affords, as well as your respect instead of your attacks. This bill will do enormous damage to Iowa's communities and its future.
02-13-2017
Mick Weitz []
CON
I am a husband, a father, a teacher, and an Iowan. I wish to speak out against the adoption of HF291 for a variety of reasons, but these are the most important. HF291 and the reduction of collective bargaining rights for Iowa workers does not serve the people of Iowa. This bill does not serve Iowa students. In the long run it will not increase our budget or improve our employment situation. If Iowa truly does have a "foundation of education," how can we continue to reduce the resources and esteem given our educational system? There is undoubtedly room for conversation and compromise, but the way HF291 has been crafted and the way it is being implemented are hasty, divisive, and cowardly."Our liberties we prize, and our rights we will maintain."
02-13-2017
Anonymous [N/A]
CON
My name is My name is Nisha Peters. I live in Riverside, IA. I am calling to oppose HF 291. Please vote NO on this measure as it will have farreaching detrimental impacts on the very people that VOTED YOU INTO OFFICE.
02-13-2017
Jessi Williams []
CON
I am asking all Iowa law makers to vote "no" on these bills. I am a clinical social worker that serves patients and families at the University of Iowa Hospital. It has been my great honor to help patients and families to get closer to home for therapy, treatment and healing. In some cases, I help patients get home to take their last breaths surrounded by family and friends. I serve Iowans as patients from every county in the state. In my work as a discharge planner, I also serve the taxpayers of the state of Iowa by facilitating timely and appropriate discharges. This saves taxpayers in all counties money. UIHC regularly has high census alerts which means that patients are waiting days in the emergency department or are being maintained at smaller hospitals without specialty care while awaiting an open bed. My work directly impacts the hospital's ability to admit patients that are waiting for our care. To do this work, a social worker is required to have a Masters Degree, experience and the starting wage is $46,000. Our department had to raise the starting wage three years ago because we were priced significantly below market rate. We regularly lose members of our department to better paying jobs both in and out of state. I pay 20% of my insurance costs in addition to deductibles and copays. The benefits I receive from being a state employee make it worth working for low wages in a county with a high cost of living. I am also a member of SEIU 199 and benefit from collective bargaining. The working conditions that I am able to bargain for are important. My working conditions impact me and my patients. They also impact my ability to save taxpayers money as a discharge planner. Collective bargaining works! Thanks to conditions negotiated by my union, I am able to contribute to my department, hospital, patients and taxpayers by being oncall and working overtime. I urge all lawmakers to vote no on this bill. I would also encourage them all to study the impact that a similar bill in Wisconsin had as talented teachers and other state employees fled the state when their collective bargaining rights were stripped.
02-13-2017
Catharine Cashner []
CON
Iowa has excellent public services, and dedicated employees with real expertise in their fields. Demoralizing them by taking away collective bargaining rights will inevitably lead to greater turnover, which will adversely affect critical public services. Not only our police and firefighters, but our social workers and teachers make heroic efforts to keep us safe and improve our communities. These experiments in unionbusting have not worked well in Wisconsin and Kansas. Why do we want to try them here?
02-13-2017
Sarah Schroeder []
CON
We have worked too hard for our rights to go backwards now. Please vote no on this bill.
02-13-2017
Nedra Conrad [retired]
CON
I urge you to vote no to any changes in the collective process for public employees.
02-13-2017
Kathryn Kaul-Goodman []
CON
I am strongly against this bill that is obviously designed to take protections away from middle class working families. Neither my husband nor I am in a union but part of having Iowa be a strong state and a great place to live is that ordinary workers have the right to help set the terms of their employment.
02-13-2017
Erin Lamb [N/A]
CON
This bill has been "sold" to Iowans as something that simply "updates" our collective bargaining laws. It's not an update it's a gut. You are cutting off our educators and public safety officials at the knees while still making it illegal for them to strike. Anyone complaining that a 3% cost of living raise is wrong for them to receive has clearly never had to perform the jobs they perform. Teachers don't get overtime. The argument seems to be that they get summers off, but that argument fails to remember that teachers come in early and stay late to help students who need it. They buy many of their own supplies and think nothing of buying students in need a new pair of shoes or a new winter coat when they recognize those needs. Teachers provide a soft place to land for students who don't have that safety net at home. Let us not forget that Hitler destroyed unions in 1933, setting up a "German Labor Front" under the guise of providing benefits and services to workers while actually supporting corporations and the racist Nazi agenda. Jews were banned, collective bargaining and the right to strike outlawed. German business leaders and CONSERVATIVE politicians supported it. From 1933 to 1945, thousands of German trade unionists were arrested and imprisoned. Many were tortured in concentration camps and executed. These are not "alternative facts." These are not lies. This is history. This is the kind of thing I fear our children won't learn and we will be doomed to continue repeating such atrocities. Wake up. We're all watching. We know who's on our side and we will vote you out.
02-13-2017
martin gordon [MASON CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT - RETIRED-PERSONNEL DIRECTOR-NEGOTIATOR]
CON
I HAVE ADDITIONAL COMMENTS...I AM THE 85 YEAR OLD CHIEF NEGOTIATOR FOR THE MASON CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT FROM 1973 TO 2008.YES...THIS BAD FAITH BARGAINING PROPOSAL IS WELL NAMED...TO ELIMINATE..DESTROY THE WHOLE STRUCTURED RELATIONSHIP WITH TEACHERS IS A COMPLETE AND POISONED DIP OF THE PEN.HOW CAN SUCH A MOVE FROM 50 PAGE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT BE DISTILLED TO 1 PAGE.?I SPENT 20 YEARS AS A CHRISTIAN BROTHER, AND 38 YEARS AT MASON CITY...AND LET ME TELL YOU THAT ANY LEGISLATOR THAT VOTES TO ACTIVATE THIS TOTAL AND INCLUSIVE CHANGE IN A RELATIONSHIP ...IS BUYING INTO A SYSTEM THAT IS ...IN TIME IS GOING TO PUSH IOWA FARTHER DOWN THE LIST OF 'ACTIVE AND POSITIVE'EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES. IT WILL ALSO HURT IOWA'S TEACHER TRAINING COLLEGES AND U.
02-13-2017
Palani T Permeswaran [University of Iowa]
CON
I urge you to vote NO on Chapter 20 changes. As the Iowa Policy Project has said (http://www.iowapolicyproject.org/2017docs/170203collbarg.pdf), these changes to 119,000 working Iowans lives would:Cost the taxpayers substantial amounts of moneyCreate more red tape in governmentDecrease accountabilityLower Iowans wagesAccelerate brain drainIncrease income inequalityDisproportionately hurt rural areas of IowaWiden the gender pay gapCause staff shortages in education and in health careAs the Labor Center has noted (https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6ynSIulQywZE9pMmF0SElhOWs/view), the current bargaining law, Chapter 20, was a carefullycrafted compromise based on input from labor, legislators, and the public that has worked well for over 40 years. The current bill was designed behind closed doors without public input or discussion. There is no reason to rush through drastic changes to the law that would hurt Iowans.
02-13-2017
Anonymous [Citizen]
CON
I am in opposition to this bill. Iowa officials state that they want to attract the best and brightest to the teaching profession. This bill does just the opposite. It weakens security in teaching position and communicates a lack of respect for the profession. Government workers in general serve the state for lower wages than the private sector. I am a state employee. have worked in my field for 40+ years and have an earned doctoral degree. I could be making considerably higher wages in private sector, but I choose to serve the people of Iowa and to try to make a difference in improving our great state. One of the trade offs for low salary is some compensation in the form of benefits. I believe we are willing to negotiate a reasonable contract. But with the ability to negotiate only wages and those capped at a nominal level, the type of professional attracted to and retained in state government will decline. Who sets legislators' wages? Are the same restrictions in place?
02-13-2017
Anonymous [Midwest Telegraph]
CON
If our elected officials are not doing everything they can to protect the rights of Iowan workers, then it's time we elect those who will. Attacking the rights of public service workers to bargain collectively, health care, and other provisions currently provided will weaken our communities and our ability to provide for our families and loved ones. This attack must end now.
02-13-2017
Vero Rose Smith [University of Iowa]
CON
My name is Vero Rose Smith and I live in Iowa City, Iowa. I am writing to urge you to uphold Chapter 20. Collective bargaining is crucial to worker satisfaction and retention in all sectors. By negotiating terms of employment such as pay, health care, pensions and other benefits, hours, leave, job health and safety policies, and ways to balance work and family, employees are able to craft a work environment most conducive to productivity. Happy and healthy workers are productive and loyal workers. We need look no further than Wisconsin to see the consequences of gutting unions. Since 2010 when Act 10 went into effect, Wisconsins public employees have seen their collective bargaining rights curtailed. While supporters claimed this controversial legislation was aimed at giving local governments and school districts more flexibility in firing and hiring, the measure has actually made it more difficult to track data such as teacher salary and performance. This difficulty is due to fear of going on record with comments regarding any aspect of work. Additionally, teachers in public schools enjoyed a slashing of their benefits, a raise freeze and hiring freeze, and everincreasing class sizes. Furthermore, the number of applicants per open teaching position across the state decline from an average of 6.6 candidates per vacancy in 2012 to 3.2 candidates per vacancy in 2015. I fear this trend will continue in Iowa should Chapter 20 be gutted. Do we really want a state in which teachers and other public employees are terrified that their livelihoods may be threatened if they speak up about a hazard in their workplace or unreasonable demands? Do we want to create a hiring environment in which only those who could not escape to a better paying state or profession are left to apply for open positions?
02-13-2017
Angela Broughton-Romain [taxpayer]
CON
This bill is unfair, unnecessary, and not in the best interest of Iowans. My family relies on the hard work of public employees and I want them to be compensated fairly so that the State of Iowa can continue to attract highly qualified job candidates. The Wisconsin model is not one to emulate! Republicans are trying to frame this as a "modernization" of Chapter 20. It is not it is a complete gutting of collective bargaining rights.
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
Please vote no on this bill and preserve Iowa public employees' rights to collectively bargain. The system is not broken. Gutting Iowa's collective bargaining system is an unnecessary overreach and places the burden to fix our budget issues on the wrong people. Concerned about budget shortfalls? Review our corporate tax break procedures. Concerned about the rising cost of healthcare? Go after the companies that set exorbitant rates, not the people in need of medical care. Public employees are state tax payers, too. Taking away their benefits will take money out of their pockets, which will take money out of the local and state economy. Please do not seek to swiftly change a working collective bargaining system simply so you can say you changed something.
02-13-2017
Loni Duncan [Ms.]
CON
This would not be a bill that is good for employees, only for employers. They already have enough advantages so vote no on this bill.
02-13-2017
Kristi [Iowa Teacher]
CON
If you believe that teaching doesn't fall into the "in harm's way" category, you obviously haven't been in a school in several years. As an educator, in now my 3rd state in 22 years, I can tell you, conditions and expectations have drastically worsened. Teachers continue to be put in dangerous situations (some daily) and working conditions & expectations are completely out of control. All of us expect to work more than our contracted hours, but we are constantly asked to do more and more (outside these hours when we already put in an exorbitant amount of time) in order to meet the rising needs of children & families. One study states that the amount of decisions we make and stressors we face daily, is 2nd to only air traffic controllers. You said you talked with school boards that feel a change is needed. Why can't you actually walk into a school and talk to & listen to teachers (not just someone officially representing us)?!? THEN you MIGHT have a better grasp of OUR side of the story and why we need to be able to negotiate for more than salary. Better yet, come spend 1 full week with me. The moral is already terribly low in our schools due to all these pressures. Asking all the superintendents to send us a warm fuzzy email is not enough. Chapter 20 already puts SEVERAL checks & balances on the negotiating process, we might as well completely dissolve all unions is that what you're going for? YOU should know that working for the state, is no easy occupation choice. I would come and speak in person, if I thought it were possible for you to actually listen to (not just hear) the words I'm saying, comprehend them, and would use it to help you make a decision. Thanks for making our jobs even more difficult & under appreciated as if 1.1% wasn't bad enough!
02-13-2017
Anonymous [COGS]
CON
I urge you to vote NO on Chapter 20 changes. As the Iowa Policy Project has said (link), these changes to 119,000 working Iowans lives would:Cost the taxpayers substantial amounts of moneyCreate more red tape in governmentDecrease accountabilityLower Iowans wagesAccelerate brain drainIncrease income inequalityDisproportionately hurt rural areas of IowaWiden the gender pay gapCause staff shortages in education and in health careAs the Labor Center has noted (link), the current bargaining law, Chapter 20, was a carefullycrafted compromise based on input from labor, legislators, and the public that has worked well for over 40 years. The current bill was designed behind closed doors without public input or discussion. There is no reason to rush through drastic changes to the law that would hurt Iowans.
02-13-2017
David A Krug []
CON
Please enter my attached comments into the record regarding HF 291 which is to be discussed on Monday, February 13, 2017 at 6:00 PM in Room 103 of the Supreme Court Chambers.Thank you.
Attachment
02-13-2017
Tony Strauss [DOC]
CON
Where do you expect hundreds of dollars a month to come from for health insurance for people living check to check? What are they going to eliminate in their budget? Electricity? Car payment? Groceries?
02-13-2017
Neo McAdams []
CON
This bill is an attempt to destroy solid, hardworking middle class jobs in teaching, nursing, and other nonpublic safety public jobs, by enabling the state to limit those workers' hard earned benefits.If collective bargaining is good for police officers, firefighters, and park rangers, why is it unnecessary for teachers and nurses?
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
This bill is a direct attack on our rights. Please respect us.
02-13-2017
Jason Livingston [n/a]
CON
I teach at the University of Iowa and ask that you remember that graduate students teach an enormous number of courses at the flagship research university.Cutting into their benefits and their right to negotiate for benefits will result in 1) fewer graduate students coming to the U of I and 2) those who choose to do so will be less competitive.In short, it will be a total disaster for the U of I and will further knock its reputation, already flagging because of budget cuts and faculty retention issues.You will bear the responsibility for this and other negative outcomes. The eyes of Iowans are on you to do the right thing.Jason LivingstonIowa City, IA
02-13-2017
William Dickey [IUP/UE retired]
CON
I retired from the State of Iowa after 34 years. During that time I was not covered by a collective bargaining agreement for 12 of those years. I have never felt like I was on an island alone than I did those 12 years. When I was covered by collective bargaining I felt like I had a voice in the benefit decision. During the 22 years of being covered I became involved with IUP/UE. I became a steward and then President of my local union. Never did I find the Union had the power to prevent an employee being fired. Instead it gave the employee the ability to have their side heard. Even the employee was fired the grievance process gave the employee the right to have their side heard and if it was just or unjust. In my years it was my experience that Management wanted to settle to avoid a hearing. Fault of poor management not the Union I urge you to vote against the House and Senate Bills
02-13-2017
Anonymous [n/a]
CON
Why are we continuing to undervalue our public servants? Teachers already do so much out of their own time and money and Iowa continues to fall in the national education rankings. We should be doing more to support our teachers, if not, we will have a much bigger shortage on our hands, or we we will lose them to other states or professions.With this legislation, I also fear for our public safety, especially with so many attacks already happening against officers here in Iowa and across the nation.
02-13-2017
Shona Roeder [none]
CON
Collective bargaining is a key part of keeping our best teachers in the state. What's good for teachers is good for our kids.
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I am a proud NEA/ISEA Retired member. As a past Chief Negotiator I can attest that the current system under chapter 20 works well for both sides.Suggesting that locally good teachers could be rewarded or that it would be easier to get rid of bad teachers without chapter 20 is simply not true. You can get rid of bad teachers as I have witnessed. Also, if there is a better way to provide insurance while allowing local control, that would be welcomed.I am proud to say I am an educator. Gutting chapter 20 will only lead to demoralizing those in the field and discouraging those that might think of entering it. Please do not pass this bill.
02-13-2017
Anonymous [Special Education Teacher ]
CON
Removing collective bargaining undermines worker protection for teachers and all municipal workers and others who rely on it. Moving in this direction, along with many perceived attacks on programs that benefit the constituency appears to be designed to develop a class system based on cash flow. This is antipathetic to the premises this country is founded on. I, along with many others, am concerned that this current political maneuvering is going to result in devastating consequences for all. Technology enables many to weigh in on decisions. It seems it would behoove the representation to poll their constituency for better representation of the majority.
02-13-2017
Andrew Dudler [University of Iowa]
CON
I oppose this bill. This bill will do significant damage to the Iowa work force. The workers of Iowa are not defined by political parties. This is not a partisan issue. Collective bargaining gives the employees "a seat at the table" and helps to protect the employee and the people/children they serve. No NO on this legislation!
02-13-2017
Anonymous [Indivisible Iowa]
CON
Why are union dues being singled out for not allowing automatic payroll deduction? Other deductions are allowed like United Way, UNI Foundation, etc. This is discriminatory.
02-13-2017
Lisa Linville []
CON
I ask that this bill not be pushed through. I know of not one person this bill will help. However, there are thousands it will hurt. Why are you wanting to hurt the people who keep this state going? This bill affects me as a public school teacher, but it also affects my sister, brotherinlaw, and sisterinlaw. It will negatively affect every person I know in one way or another. The sad thing about it is that many don't even understand yet what is coming their way. I feel like I am being taken advantage of and that my professionalism is being questioned, and even attacked. I grew up in this state, attended public schools, and loved and respected my teachers. I saw the passion in their eyes as they taught. That is why I entered the profession. I wanted to have the same impact on children. I started my career in Illinois, but wanted to come back to teach in Iowa. I was lucky enough to do so four years later and have been teaching high school students in Iowa for eleven years now. Everything this bill stands for makes me feel like I am worthless, that the time, attention, and knowledge I share with my students doesn't even matter to you. Do you want teachers who care about our students to leave the state? The state will not be able to keep or attract quality teachers if this bill goes through. I can't tell you how many of my former students who are studying to be teachers at our universities are now completely questioning their choice. Because of this bill, young people are losing hope in Iowa, losing faith in this state as a leader in education. Pushing this through threatens every public worker in this state. My sisterinlaw is in the middle of earning her masters degree, but is wondering what will happen to her if this bill goes through. How will it affect her pay, her lane change, her ability to pay off her loan. She and my brother have three little girls who attend a public elementary school in Iowa. This bill will hurt them and their teachers whom they love with all their heart. My sister works for the City of Bettendorf, Iowa, and her husband works for the City of Davenport, Iowa. This will negatively affect them and their two children who attend public schools in Iowa. I am the breadwinner in my family and my family counts on my benefits, especially insurance. I am scared what will happen to my insurance if this bill goes through. I respectfully ask that you not push this bill through. Please do not take my rights away. I do not know you, and you do not know me. To me, you are politicians who can change my life for good or bad. I have much respect for politicians due to my father being in politics much of his life. To you, maybe I'm just a number, just another person complaining, but who knows, maybe you are a politician like my father has been who understands that I am a human being trying desperately to be a leader not only for my two little girls at home and for my nieces and nephew, but for every single young Iowan I work with every day. Please do not do this to me, to my family, to my friends, to my fellow public employees and their families. Please.
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I oppose this bill that is being fasttracked through the legislative process. This bill will have a negative impact on the education of Iowa's children. Teachers are not in this profession for the money. Leaving salary as the only "negotiable" item is literally a joke to us. We would appreciate it if our legislatures at least thought enough of us to give us a voice when we are determining the types of things that help us be the best educator we can be.
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
This bill will eventually kill Iowa's economy and our rural public schools. It will challenge our state's ability to recruit and retain qualified educators. This bill is a huge CON and detriment to the state of Iowa.
02-13-2017
Dustin Rusche-Soroka [Hinton Community School Teacher/Parent/Taxpayer]
CON
As a public educator in Iowa, a parent of two Iowa students, the brotherinlaw of a Sioux City firefighter, a taxpayer and a 30 year resident of Iowa, I strongly oppose the changes proposed to collective bargaining. This bill removes the voices of thousands of Iowa workers. This bill directly affects decisions about OUR students that will be made from outside the classroom. It will take good teachers out of the state as they search for schools where they do have a voice, where they can have a say in decisions that affect their classrooms and the future of education. This bill will affect our health care and in turn negatively impact the economy of Iowa. Incentives to keep our highly qualified teachers will dwindle and our quality of education will decrease dramatically. Potential educators will be turned off from the profession as they will not have a voice. I urge the Iowa Legislature to vote against any changes to the collective bargaining bill.
02-13-2017
Lynn Bernard [NWAEA]
CON
Collective bargaining has allowed the unions to bargain for what is important for those individual school, fire house ext... Many times we have chosen not to take a raise to keep out benefit package. I odnt how you can attract good teachers with low pay and high insurance cost.
02-13-2017
Anonymous [concerned parent]
CON
This bill will hurt students, teachers, nurses and public workers of all types. The worst parts of the bill will eventually even kill off support for cops and firefighters. Listen to your constituents of all political backgrounds and VOTE NO. My kids deserve the best teachers. And if you look at what's happened in Wisconsin, Louisiana and Kansas, then you know that similar bills lead to larger classrooms, reduced teacher pay, more great teachers leaving the profession, and falling academic progress. Those are easily verifiable facts. NOT ONE republican ran this year on gutting teacher pay and bargaining rights. And then you try to ram it through in a week. That's awful and will hurt Iowa children, Iowa businesses, and Iowa's economy, especially in rural districts. Reconsider this awful bill.
02-13-2017
Carl H Elsaesser [Vertical Cinema]
CON
I would like to express my concern over HF 291. I'm an MFA student in the cinematic arts program at Uiowa. I choose to come here over a full scholarship to both CalArts and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for several reasons. First, because of Uiowa's reputation for critical moving image studies and production, but also because it's a public university that values unilaterally supporting their students financially. To have the rare privilege to work on my art practice along side other students fully aware that we have the freedom of doing so without going into major debt is incredible and something I wouldn't trade in for any private education. The students here have gone on to tenor track positions across the country, show case at festivals internationally and win awards and recognition at countless festivals, but most importantly we uphold the value that free education is the way to sustain a truly democratic education where your economic background doesn't determine your capabilities as a thinker. This is now under threat with HF291. While most likely loosing the right to bargain for health care and wages will not result in a dramatic increase in costs to attend Uiowa's prestigious MFA programs immediately, it will most certainly effect their long term ability to retain the best students from across the country as slowly year by year the costs and fees to attend go up. Nothing is lost to vote this bill down. Nothing. But to vote yes sets the path towards turning Uiowa into a mediocre grad school. We are better then this. I strongly urge you to stand up for union rights, student rights and public education rights. Thank you for your time.
02-13-2017
Theresa Hercher [University of Iowa ue 896]
PRO
NO to changes to chapter 20. It is a fact that this uniondismantling bill will hurt Iowans.
02-13-2017
Melody Hobert-Mellecker RN BSN [SEIU / UIHC]
CON
I am a nurse UIHC where I have served the citizens of Iowa for nearly 27 of the 30 years I have been a nurse. This bill you are considering passing sets a DANGEROUS precedent for allowing the mistreatment of those who give their lives over to service of our state's vulnerable populations: the children, the sick, the elderly, those in crisis, those in need. I was an employee at UIHC as a psychiatric nurse for many years before our allied healthcare professionals unionized; we didn't unionize because we wanted to...we unionized because we HAD NO OTHER CHOICE...we had NO VOICE in our conditions of employment or in the conditions that we were being forced to work in to take care of the patients in our hospital. I was hired at UIHC in July 1990. In June 1991, my salary was frozen AND REMAINED FROZEN until after we voted in the union and negotiated our first contract. At the same time, my insurance premiums and taxes were NOT frozen, so for 10 long years while my wages remained stagnant, the percentage of my paycheck that I was actually taking home shrank...I was being paid less and less to do more and more, particularly under the duress of MASSIVE budget cuts to the department of nursing and the overall UIHC operating budget that were occurring at that time. At that same time, I also remember when large nursing units at UIHC were closed for reorganization into a single unit and all the staff members were required to reapply for their jobs. Nurses who had worked 30 years for UIHC were let go in favor of retaining less experienced and lower paid nurse with less than 1 or 2 years of employment. I remember when we were not allowed to give our patients 7 Up and crackers just because they asked...they had to have a medical reason such as an upset stomach in order to justify the cost. I remember when we had to provide our own pens because the nursing units could not bear the cost of that any longer due to the budget cuts. I remember when the direct care nurses were trying to get UIHC to bring safe needle technology to our hospital but had no influence in decision making. OUR PATIENTS HAD NO VOICES BECAUSE THEIR NURSES HAD NO VOICES AND NO ABILITY TO FIGHT FOR IMPROVED PATIENT CONDITIONS.This bill makes it clear that the Republican leadership of our state cares NOTHING for the nurses, teachers, fire fighters, police officers, prison guards, and many, many other public sector employees who do everything we can every day to make sure that our fellow citizens are educated, well cared for, taken care of, and kept safe. You are turning your backs on us and endangering our teachers, our nurses, our fire fighters, our police officers, our EMT's, our prison guards and EVERY SINGLE CITIZEN of this state by gutting the very law that was negotiated in good faith in the 1970's to prevent public servants from striking and causing catastrophic shut down of the public sector employment. I don't see this bill restoring our right to strike. And as far as your exceptions goes for people in "dangerous occupations"...nurses are constantly subjected to acts of violence in their workplace; teachers and those in the public schools are as wellmy husband works for our local Iowa City School district, so I know that is not a safe environment either. By the very nature of their jobs, our EMT's, prison guards, and police and fire officers are constantly subjected to dealing with people under enormous stress, who are often angry and unpredictable. There are no guaranteed SAFE occupations when you are dealing with people.I strongly urge you to reconsider the deleterious effects this bill will have on our state. Why would young people want to serve the public in our own state when they can leave our state and go elsewhere in the private sector to earn more money and be every bit as fulfilled doing so.You are practically guaranteeing that as our population in the state ages, there will not be any young people staying to balance that out. For almost 27 years, I have served our citizens faithfully in an incredibly difficult and oftentimes thankless job not because I enjoyed every minute of itbut rather because I know that as a nurse, what I do matters every single day. This bill tells me very clearly that I don't matter to you.
02-13-2017
Pete Nielsen []
CON
There is no evidence this bill is supported by Iowa's constituents.
Attachment
02-13-2017
Peter Levi [None]
CON
My wife and I moved to Iowa one year ago from Wisconsin. We are both educators and have witnessed firsthand the sweeping changes Act 10 has had on the state of education in our home state. Governor Scott Walker needed to propose hiring individuals without teaching licenses in rural areas because those areas became empty of teachers. Taxpayers in Iowa may save a few dollars annually, but the students of Iowa and, therefore, the future economy and society of the state, will suffer far greater losses than the minimal gains in our tax returns. Please consider voting against this bill in order to preserve the high quality of education in the state.
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I vehemently oppose this bill. It will hurt the people of Iowa and, eventually, our state's economy. Do the right thing...vote no!
02-13-2017
Melody Dworak [Public Library employee]
CON
This bill would be detrimental to keeping good talent in the state of Iowa. It wouldn't even help managers attract talent because individuals wouldn't be able to negotiate salary. If it's obviously a bad enough deal that safety personnel like police and firefighters would be turned off from taking public jobs, then it's bad for teachers and library staff as well. Teachers are the first responders at school shootings and fights, and they are their own kind of public safety worker.
02-13-2017
Anonymous [Calamus-Wheatland Schools]
CON
The proposed bill will negatively impact the ability of this state to attract teachers, nurses, police, and firefighters. We already have a shortage of teachers and nurses. This bill will hurt the safety of residents of the state because there will be fewer candidates willing to come here to be employed.Think about your children. Do you want them to be able to receive quality education and feel like they would be valued in this state, or do you want them leaving the state because of the policies you put into place with this law?The future depends on you to do the right thing and vote no on the bill that will end collective bargaining for all Iowa public employees.Thank you for your time.
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
Dear Iowa Representatives;As a registered nurse working in Iowa at a public hospital for over 20 years, I am shocked and appalled at this piece of legislation that will keep nurses and other public workers from being able to speak out and protect the public from harm. For me it would mean silencing nurses from bringing up patient care and safety concerns. Is that what you intended? I don't think so. I don't recall ANY candidate who ran for office talking about this as a priority for Iowan's. I recall candidates talking about creating good jobs, better public schools and safe communities. This is a bill does nothing to make that happen. Also, we all know this isn't a bill crafted by anyone other than ALEC. This bill if passed will kill jobs, drive qualified workers out of Iowa and drive down wages. We already have a brain drain from the state. This will only exacerbate the problem and I'm asking you to oppose this bill. Thank You.Sincerely, Cathy Glasson
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
This is a bill in search of a problem. Chapter 20 is working and has been working. This assault on collective bargaining will hurt Iowa workers and economy.Please consult the Iowa Policy Project for additional policy implications of these proposed changesthey are a nonpartisan organization and have studied this in depth. http://www.iowapolicyproject.org/2017Research/170203collbarg.html
02-13-2017
Cindy Sanders [Iowa Voter]
CON
Protect Chapter 20.Protect Iowa's workers.Protect Iowa's future.
02-13-2017
Nancy McKinstry []
CON
I want to share an anecdote that demonstrates how capricious some public school administrators can be: some years ago my principal did not want to hire a long term substitute refusing my request for maternity leave. This had nothing to do with my performance on the job. I have recently retired from a long, successful career in teaching and this probably wouldn't happen today. However, I have worked for many administrators through the years that I wouldn't t trust with such sweeping power to dismiss anyone, in the name of getting rid of bad teachers.Please vote no and uphold Chapter 20 of the Iowa code
02-13-2017
Matthew Hipps [University of Iowa & Kirkwood Community College ]
CON
Hello, my name is Matthew Hipps and I'm a teacher of 7 years. I write today to OPPOSE to this bill which guts Iowa's public employee collective bargaining law. It is similar to the bill that passed in Wisconsin in 2011.As an Iowa transplant, I accepted a position at the University of Iowa knowing about the superior benefits and opportunities provided to student teachers (Teaching Assistants graduate students who teach classes at various universities throughout Iowa) and graduate students seeking higher education. As a PhD student in my second year at the University of Iowa, I depend on the little income I already get and my healthcare package. I am also a member of my local union COGS (UE Local 896) which is able to bargain with our employer (UIowa) for numerous items, including wage increases (which would be extremely limited if this bill is passed), choices in healthcare packages (of which I could not be more pleased with), and tuition reimbursement, among many other items.Should this bill be passed, the future of my degree and my graduate program would be in jeopardy. If passed I will likely consider leaving the university and my position as a teaching assistant, as well as my job as an Adjunct Lecturer at Kirkwood Community College. I will not be alone. The diversity of your public education is at stake. Would you continue recruiting talent from all over the world, or would this bill lessen these jobs (their pay, benefits, right to bargain) so that only a few (or none) will come in to fill them?VOTE NO ON THIS BILL or LOOSE the teachers (and future educators) which make this state great and jobs which currently attract diverse individuals like myself from around the world!
02-13-2017
Anonymous [ ]
CON
I am against changing Chap 20. I believe that the public servants for this state should be entitled to be part of the process of evaluations, and safety from being fired due to personal differences instead of merit. If you want to change Chap 20 then you should include both sides to make those changes. Not ram rod it through because the Republicans are in majority. There are consequences for excluding the thousands of us who are part of a union. You will definitely feel it in the next election.
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I am in strong opposition to this bill being passed. My husband and I are both public employees working at Iowa State University. Not only am I extremely concerned about the devastating effects this bill will have on my family, we are strongly considering relocation due to the assault this will have on our state's teachers. I have three children and nothing is more important to our family than their future and education. This bill will make it impossible to recruit and retain the most qualified and dedicated educators. Our state's children should be the number one priority and this is a direct threat to their future. Special interests and corporate greed are clearly a driving factor in the acceleration of this bill. Large tax cuts to corporations like John Deere, are not benefiting our state. Many of the republicans are bought and paid for, as evident by their unwillingness to slow down and examine the full impact of this bill let alone work across the isle. These senators and representatives are blatantly disregarding the constituents they serve. Then they are making it Illegal for our voices to be heard (strike). Chapter 20 isn't only about wages and benefits, it is an opportunity for the employee to have a seat at the table. To be able to voice concerns without fear of retaliation. To pretend that this is not a reality is simply naive and irresponsible.
02-13-2017
Matthew Hipps [University of Iowa & Kirkwood Community College ]
CON
Hello, my name is Matthew Hipps and I'm a teacher of 7 years. I write today to OPPOSE this bill which guts Iowa's public employee collective bargaining law. It is similar to the bill that passed in Wisconsin in 2011.As an Iowa transplant, I accepted a position at the University of Iowa knowing about the superior benefits and opportunities provided to student teachers (Teaching Assistants graduate students who teach classes at various universities throughout Iowa) and graduate students seeking higher education. As a PhD student in my second year at the University of Iowa, I depend on the little income I already get and my healthcare package. I am also a member of my local union COGS (UE Local 896) which is able to bargain with our employer (UIowa) for numerous items, including wage increases (which would be extremely limited if this bill is passed), choices in healthcare packages (of which I could not be more pleased with), and tuition reimbursement, among many other items.Should this bill be passed, the future of my degree and my graduate program would be in jeopardy. If passed I will likely consider leaving the university and my position as a teaching assistant, as well as my job as an Adjunct Lecturer at Kirkwood Community College. I will not be alone. The diversity of your public education is at stake. Would you continue recruiting talent from all over the world, or would this bill lessen these jobs (their pay, benefits, right to bargain) so that only a few (or none) will come in to fill them?VOTE NO ON THIS BILL or LOSE the teachers (and future educators) which make this state great and jobs which currently attract diverse individuals like myself from around the world!
02-13-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I urge you to vote NO on Chapter 20 changes. As the Iowa Policy Project has said, these changes to 119,000 working Iowans lives would:Cost the taxpayers substantial amounts of moneyCreate more red tape in governmentDecrease accountabilityLower Iowans wagesAccelerate brain drainIncrease income inequalityDisproportionately hurt rural areas of IowaWiden the gender pay gapCause staff shortages in education and in health careAs the Labor Center has noted, the current bargaining law, Chapter 20, was a carefullycrafted compromise based on input from labor, legislators, and the public that has worked well for over 40 years. The current bill was designed behind closed doors without public input or discussion. There is no reason to rush through drastic changes to the law that would hurt Iowans.
02-13-2017
Vic McCuen [National Association of Letter Carriers Central Iowa Merged Branch 352]
CON
This is a bill that has one thing in mind. Doing away with union's. Legislators that have drafted this bill showed in how they stripped the union's right to bargain for health insurance, employment matters, requirements and other bargaining rights. While still allow them to just bargain for their pay. This takes away the union's right to strike because they are still allowed to bargain for pay only. Union's see through this like a window. Aren't the legislators worried about their own health insurance? Never mind, you have got that covered. You make the laws. If the state loses when collective bargaining goes to arbitration for contract settlement. Then you are doing something wrong or it is warranted on what the arbitrator gives the union employees. My union and it's membership will stand in front, behind and beside our fellow union brothers and sisters of AFSME and the ISEA in their fight for collective bargaining rights. We will stand with them on this piece of legislation and at the balloting box in the next election.
02-13-2017
Anne Marie Kraus [Iowa State Education Association]
CON
Please do what is MORALLY DEFENSIBLE with this Collective Bargaining bill. What is MORALLY DEFENSIBLE is to treat our states public servants with respect, enabling them to negotiate their simple needs and rights as human beings. What makes some legislators think that teachers, snow plow drivers, health care workers, and others, dont deserve health care benefits? All our public servants must take care of their health in order to take care of us. Each employee group has unique needs, thus it makes economic sense for each employee group to negotiate their own health care policy. Some legislators claim that this bill is what the taxpayers want. Wait a minute and think. Some taxpayers complain about any and all taxes, simply because they ignorantly think the government is taking their money for no reason. However, if you attacked said taxpayers in the way that you attack teachers, they would squeal and demand their rights. Yet teachers humbly and determinedly go back to the classroom every day, toiling in ways you could never know, since most legislators have never tried to teach a group of thirty children with a profound lack of resources. The more you take away from teachers, the more we will lose our dedicated teachers, and the fewer new teachers will be willing to enter such a punishing profession. By punishing teachers and other public workers, you are cutting off your nose to spite your face. You are irreparably hurting our state, our children, and our citizens with this bill.Anne Marie KrausRetired TeacherLibrarianIowa City
02-13-2017
Ron Armstrong []
CON
The email is respectfully asking you to vote no on the replacement of chapter 20 of the collective bargaining act. Why replace something that isn't broke. Chapter 20 was designed in a republican congress with a republican governor, and bipartisan support. It was designed by Iowans for Iowans. It is not a cookie cutter plan designed by political action committees to punish unions. Please look beyond this and understand that this will impact families. Our teachers, paraprofessional, fireman, and police officers are also our friends and community members. This action will hurt these families in a very real way. The political action groups that propose this action don't really care about this. Our lame duck governor doesn't have to care about this because he is moving on to bigger and better things. It is you, as a representative of Iowa, and you fellow legislators, and the school district that will have to deal with the fallout.Forty years ago our fellow Iowans devised a plan to negotiate labor issue in a fair and equitable way. Teachers like my parents, and their friends were often willing to for go salary for other forms of compensation including medical care and the promise of a pension. The fact that school districts all across the state of Iowa have avoided strikes, lockouts, and vindictive actions that occurred in other country is a testament to the success of chapter 20. Both sides are force to negotiate in good faith. If one side asked too much, arbitration would level the playing field. Chapter 20 was written by Iowans and adopted for Iowans to provide their children with the best education possible. Please do not get caught up in this political action movement that is poisoning other school systems throughout our nation. They demonize a group and pit brother against brother. We as Iowans need to rise above this.Sent from Outlook
02-13-2017
Samuel JambroviÄ? [The University of Iowa]
CON
I am opposed to any changes to Chapter 20.According to the Iowa Policy Project, such changes would have the following adverse effects on the lives of 119,000 working Iowans:Cost the taxpayers substantial amounts of moneyCreate more red tape in governmentDecrease accountabilityLower Iowans wagesAccelerate brain drainIncrease income inequalityDisproportionately hurt rural areas of IowaWiden the gender pay gapCause staff shortages in education and in health care
02-13-2017
David Roed [Mr.]
CON
I just want to leave you a quick note, like many of my colleagues about my concern over the Collective Bargaining Bill. After 37 years in our State's public education system, I have never felt more unappreciated. Below, I have copied a letter written by Katy Swalwell, PhD from ISU who summarizes many of my concerns:Dr. Swalwell wrote:Just sent this letter to the editor to the DSM