Congrats! Iowa Legislature Passes Monopoly Bargaining Reform

National Right to Work President Congratulates Iowa Legislature On Passing Monopoly Bargaining Reform Bill

Legislation will roll back worst abuses of government monopoly bargaining and save taxpayers money

Springfield, VA (February 16, 2017) – Today, Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Committee, praised the Iowa Legislature’s passage of Senate File 213 and House File 291, issuing the following statement on passage of the bill:

“This is a good day for the Hawkeye State.  The House and Senate have now passed legislation eliminating many abuses of government monopoly bargaining, and will send it soon to Governor Branstad for his promised signature.

“Thanks to thousands of mobilized Right to Work Committee members and other opponents of forced unionism, both Iowa’s independent-minded public employees and taxpayers win.

“That’s because union officials will no longer hold government workers indefinitely under their monopoly control, and they will no longer be able to use threat of arbitration as a bludgeon to extract concessions from the taxpayers’ elected representatives.

“Furthermore, these bills end the practice of allowing Big Labor to use government payroll deductions as their own collection agency, and protect taxpayer funds from being used to pay union officials to conduct union business.

“Thanks are due to Governor Branstad, Speaker Upmeyer, Chairman Deyoe, Majority Leader Dix, Senator Schultz and all the legislators in the State House and Senate that voted in favor of the Bill and most especially to the thousands of National Right to Work Committee members and identified supporters across Iowa who’ve, again and again, contacted their legislators.

“Monopoly bargaining, as damaging as it is in the private sector, was never designed for public employees, as even Franklin Roosevelt saw that it “cannot be transplanted into the public service.

“While Iowa didn’t repeal monopoly bargaining, at minimum, passage of this bill limits the damage government-sector monopoly bargaining can cause, and as such, ought to be applauded as a step in the right direction.”

Iowa joins Wisconsin as the second state in the Midwest to eliminate some elements of monopoly bargaining over public employees.

SF 213-HF 291 Takes Several Steps in the Right Direction

Put simply, this legislation reins in abuses of government monopoly bargaining by doing the following:

***      It stops the government from being union officials’ collection agency by banning the practice of payroll deduction of union dues.

***      It provides for recertification elections at the end of each contract so workers get to decide whether union boss representation still makes sense for them.

***      It bans so-called “official time” where union officials transact union business at taxpayer expense.

***      It caps binding arbitration awards to the increase in cost of living so that taxpayers don’t get socked with the bill for Big Labor-friendly arbitrators.

Of course, long-time observers of Iowa politics remember that in 1992, a supposedly-neutral arbitrator awarded Iowa state workers a budget-busting 16% pay increase, which led to a 25% increase in the state sales tax and 5,000 government employees being fired.

“Given all the savings for taxpayers and the increased freedom for workers, this bill was a solid step in the right direction,” said Mix. “We hope to see other states follow in reining in or, better yet, eliminating government-sector monopoly bargaining.”


The National Right to Work Committee, established in 1955, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, single-purpose citizens’ organization dedicated to the principle that all Americans must have the right to join a union if they choose to, but none should ever be forced to affiliate with a union in order to get or keep a job.  Its web address is