Local 893 Approves
With State Of Iowa
DES MOINES, Iowa
A new two-year contract covering some 2,300 State of Iowa employees
among them social workers, income maintenance workers, corrections counselors, vocational
rehabilitation staff and scientists received overwhelming approval last month from
members of UE Local 893, Iowa United Professionals. Voting took place over five days at 22
meetings conducted at 21 locations around the state.
The new contract provides 3 percent across-the-board wage increase this
July and a second 3 percent increase in July 2000 and contains the upgrades for social
workers and income maintenance workers Local 893 had insisted on from the outset of
Local 893 and state officials reached agreement voluntarily; state law
would have required arbitration had the parties failed to agree on a new contract.
Negotiations appeared to have broken down in early February. At that time the parties made
plans to exchange final offers on Feb. 19 and to arbitrate on March 1.
'OUR UNION AT WORK!'
UE negotiators advised management not to come back with an offer that did
not include the upgrades. Three days later the State proposed a settlement that included
the classification upgrades. In addition, workers step increases will remain
automatic. "These upgrades are the result of our union at work!" declared Local
893 Pres. Dan Kelley.
The State will pay 100 percent of the cost of single insurance coverage
for the life of the contract. Effective July 2000, the State will pay 70 percent of the
cost of Family Plan 3 Plus and apply the same dollar amount to all other plans. Presently
the State pays 62 percent of Plan 3 Plus. Should there be another premium increase in
December 2000, that increase will be split 50-50 between the State and workers.
A special 30-day enrollment/change period in April will allow workers who
have Select 2000 to move to Plan 3 Plus (and possibly to HMOs, pending negotiations).
The new contract restores all contract language removed during the
arbitration that produced the 1995-97 settlement. Regarded by state law as
"permissive" rather than mandatory subjects for bargaining, this language
included the right of a worker to have a steward present during disciplinary procedures.
The UE committee consisted of Pres. Dan Kelley, Vice Pres. Bill
Austin, Sec. Pat Hasenclever and Neal Boeding, a corrections
counselor. Committee member Pat Morrissey was unable to attend bargaining sessions
but was regularly consulted. The committee was assisted by Intl. Rep. Greg