Iowa School Employees
|Participants are all smiles after
the Keokuk Educational Office Personnel (KEOP) union voted to affiliate with UE Local
893-IUP on Sept. 29. Seated are retirees Doris Reckert and Eleanor Carter, who agreed to
conduct the election and count the ballots. Reckert serviced as president when the union
was organized 22 years ago. Standing, from left, are Local 893 Pres. Dan Kelley, Trish
Lippe, KEOP Vice Pres. Betty Whipple, Diane Wade, Rita Zirkel, Pres. Jane Legan, Kathy
Vermillion and Judy Londrie.
The 65 school employees in this Mississippi River community in
southeastern Iowa became the latest to come under the protection of UE when members of
Keokuk Educational Office Personnel (KEOP) voted to affiliate with the union on Sept. 29.
The school districts secretaries, receptionists, bookkeepers and
teachers associates have successfully maintained their independent union for more
than two decades.
Union leaders have maintained contact with UE for many years, and have
been reading in the UE NEWS of UE success in winning contracts for other school
district employees elsewhere in the state. Heading into negotiations themselves Keokuk
school employees sought UEs expertise in bargaining.
Intl. Rep. Greg Cross addressed a KEOP membership meeting on Sept. 2,
which discussed the possibility of affiliation with UE. With more than half the members
present, the meeting voted overwhelmingly to pose the question of affiliation to the
On Sept. 29, Cross and Local 893-IUP Pres. Dan Kelley fielded a range of
questions before the members decided by a large margin to affiliate with UE. They will
become part of amalgamated Local 893.