Court Throws Out Collective Bargaining Lawsuit; Appeal Likely

Oct 30, 2017

There was another court ruling today against public employees over a new state law limiting their bargaining rights in the workplace.

Polk County District Judge Arthur Gamble today threw out a lawsuit filed by the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees.

It is for the legislature to determine...collective bargaining rights. -Judge Arthur Gamble

The new law treats public safety employees differently than other public workers.

AFSCME claimed that was a violation of the constitution’s equal protection clause.

“While AFSCME can reasonably disagree with the public policy decision of the elected branches regarding public sector bargaining rights, it is for the legislature to determine the reasonable extent of collective bargaining rights for all public employees including public safety employees,” Judge Gamble wrote.    

AFSCME President Danny Homan is considering appealing the ruling. 

We knew... this case would likely end up in the Iowa Supreme Court. -AFSCME Pres. Danny Homan

“While we are disappointed that this initial ruling in our fight for collective bargaining justice was not in our favor,” Homan wrote in a statement, “we knew from the day we filed this lawsuit…that this case would likely end up in the Iowa Supreme Court.”

Earlier this month, another Polk County judge also threw out a similar challenge filed by the Iowa State Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union.

The ISEA is also considering an appeal in its lawsuit.