Pro-forced unionism politicians are up to their old tricks in Iowa. Once again, the best interests of Iowa workers and the taxpayers who pay their salaries are taking a backseat to the demands of compulsion-minded Big Labor bosses who financed their campaigns. In an end run designed to pay back their political financers on one hand and insure a steady supply of campaign dollars for future campaigns on the other, some of Iowa’s politicians are trying to legislate Big Labor’s access to taxpayers’ pockets.
Political payback to organized labor took precedence over sticking up for middle class families in the Iowa House on Wednesday and Thursday. House Democrats, under cover of darkness, brought up the most far-reaching revisions to Iowa’s collective bargaining since it’s [sic.] inception in 1974. Back then it took the Iowa House 13 days to debate the bill it was so controversial. House Democrats jammed the revisions through in about 13 hours of debate most of which came during the night.
House File 2645 was scheduled to be debated on Wednesday. Democrats camouflaged it as a non-controversial set of technical changes. In order for any amendment to be eligible for the debate on Wednesday, any amendments must be filed by 4 p.m. the day before. At 4 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, Democrats dropped a 14 page amendment (H-8164 written by organized labor) onto HF 2645. This last minute maneuver is common in the legislature when a legislator or party wants to hide their intentions until the last minute to avoid and [sic.] negative media coverage or pushback from the public.
The bill, with the amendment, adds several mandatory bargaining items to the teacher quality law and eliminates some provisions that provided a balance between management and labor. The changes significantly tilt the playing field in favor of labor. The Des Moines Register reported on 3-20-08 that “school boards would lose much of their authority to determine a number of issues, including scheduling, class size and early retirement benefits for staff…”
None however were as controversial as the House Democrats attempt to sneak through the wildly controversial “Fair Share” provision. “Fair Share” is not fair. It is forced unionism. The House Democrats plan allowed forced unionism, which is currently illegal, to be placed onto the bargaining table by public employee unions. Forced unionism legislation like “Fair Share” forces non-union public employees – like teachers – to pay union dues. The only way for public employees to avoid paying union dues is to quit their jobs. The effect of any forced unionism legislation is the same as a direct repeal of the Right to Work law.
House File 2645 is a Trojan Horse in which organized labor hoped to subvert Iowa’s Right to Work law and codify a laundry list of the teacher’s union hopes and desires.
However, House Republicans sacked the Trojan Horse and Democrats were forced to offer a provision that prevents any forced unionism provisions from finding their way to the bargaining table.