Spencer, Iowa — A new law passed earlier this year is going to affect public employee employment in Iowa. One of the things that the new law does is require recertification elections for public employee unions and professional organizations.
Mike Cormack is the chair of the Iowa Public Employment Relations Board. He says that the board is not on the side of labor or management — that they are basically the “referees” when it comes to these type of issues. In simple terms, Cormack says if you work for the city, county, school district, or state, you will get to choose whether to keep your union or not.
Because of that, Cormack says the Public Employment Relations Board is holding a number of meetings across the state to inform public employees.
He says one in twenty-nine Iowans is a member of a public employee union. He says if they are in a one-year contract, they will be voting this fall. If they’re in a three-year contract, they vote in year two of the contract when they’re a year away from the contract’s expiration. But if the local bargaining unit votes a union out, then no union may represent them for at least two years.
Cormack also stresses that in order to retain their current union, a unit has to have the majority of potential members vote to retain the union — NOT the majority of voters in the election.
The informational meeting in our area is this Wednesday, September 13th at the Spencer Public Library at 21 East Third Street in Spencer. Presentations will be from 4:30 to 5:30, and again from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. For more information on the law or the meeting, you can visit iowaperb.iowa.gov