A Republican bill changing collective bargaining passed through the House and Senate on Thursday after a long and contentious debate. Governor Terry Branstad signed it into law on Friday.
Collective bargaining began in 1974 requiring the state to negotiate items like wages, health insurance, vacation, seniority, safety rules, work conditions, and overtime with unions for state worker contracts. As of Friday, the revised law will limit bargaining to wages for most of Iowa's 180,000 public employees. There are some exemptions for employees in high risk occupations like law enforcement.
On Monday, hundreds of public workers demonstrated at the Capitol for a public hearing about this bill. During this week's podcast, moments from this large gathering, an Iowa Public Radio hosted discussion with senators for and against the bill, and highlights from the House and Senate debate. We'll also hear from a Wisconsin reporter how similar legislation from six years ago changed that state.