AFSCME Iowa Council 61 today filed a prohibited practice complaint with the Iowa Public Employment Board in response to Gov. Terry Branstad's recent actions on state employee health insurance.
"Iowa law is clear," said AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan. "Health insurance plans and health insurance open enrollment for contract employees are topics covered under collective bargaining. It is a prohibited practice to make unilateral changes outside of the collective bargaining process which is outlined in Iowa law."
Homan said the governor knew his actions were inappropriate but took them anyway. Further, when he vetoed the Government Efficiency Bill earlier this year, Homan said, he admitted that health insurance matters belonged at the bargaining table by stating his veto message that "employee benefits should be properly bargained rather than codified into law through legislation."
"It is highly disturbing that the Governor has chosen to flagrantly disregard Iowa's collective bargaining laws," Homan said. "This continues his pattern of putting his own political vendettas ahead of his duty to follow the law. In 2011, he abused his item veto power by vetoing legislative instructions and then trying to keep the associated money; now he is choosing to bully public employees by violating Iowa's collective bargaining laws."