Democrats in the Iowa Senate failed to stop a new rule at the Iowa Department of Administrative Services that they say will chip away at Iowa’s merit system of employment. The rule would let state agencies lay off some permanent employees ahead of temporary workers in the event of a reduction in force.
The new rule survived a challenge before the legislature’s administrative rules review committee. DAS Human Resource Officer Michell Minnehan said sometimes it makes sense to keep temporary workers on.
Democrats in the Iowa Senate heard from four former state employees who lost their jobs in what the Branstad administration terms a reorganization of state government. Democrats object to what they call mass layoffs of so-called merit employees who were hired for their expertise, not their political connections. One worker told of receiving money for keeping her settlement private, a practice which Governor Branstad has now banned.