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Local 893 Members
Unanimously Ratify
Urbandale Schools Contract


The Urbandale School District used claims of declining enrollment and skyrocketing insurance premiums in an attempt to bully union members into concessions on benefits, but the UE Local 893-16 negotiating committee stood firm.

Workers at Urbandale receive a flex-pay cash benefit or use their flex-pay dollars to purchase the school’s group health insurance policy. The District insisted that flex pay be cut in half for those not taking insurance — a $1,860 pay cut for one third of the bargaining unit. Further, the District told union members that the teachers, who have similar benefits, had already agreed to the cut.


UE members made it clear that regardless of the teachers, they were willing to fight for their benefits. After months of stalling and refusals to back away from the cut, the District’s position began to crumble. Through mediation the union discovered that the teachers had a guaranteed raise to make up for losses in flex pay. Realizing that their cutbacks could not be justified to an arbitrator, the District caved in on the flex-pay issue.

The union went on to negotiate a 28-cent increase on the base pay plus 2 percent between steps on the wage schedule. Flex pay will increase to $3,900 for workers taking insurance. The contract ratification vote was unanimous.

Negotiating committee members were Pres. Tom Dale, Sec.-Treas. Shelley Thomas, Vice Pres. Dale Bohall, Lester Smith, Mark Van Baaken and Carol Hamilton. Local 893, IUP Pres. Bill Austin acted as chief spokesperson.

UE News - 07/00

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