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Local 893 Committed
To Further Growth

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa

Although UE Local 893-Iowa United Professionals has grown by more than 600 members in the last year, local leaders have no intention of letting the forward motion stop.

The local union’s annual convention on Oct. 11 unanimously adopted a resolution committing Local 893 to adopt an aggressive policy of internal organizing. The resolution also calls on the National union to give organizational assistance, with the goal of organizing two private sector social service agencies in the next year.

RESOLVE AND ACTION

Not content to simply pass a resolution, the newly-elected local executive committee met on Nov. 8 to begin discussing implementation of the resolution.

A statewide, amalgamated local union, Local 893-IUP represents 2,850 public sector workers, including social workers and scientists employed by the State of Iowa, City of Tipton employees, Cedar County employees, and the support staff of four school districts.

Convention attendance was up sharply from the previous two conventions. Participants were enthusiastic but business-like as they considered resolutions and constitutional amendments.

NO EASY FUTURE

"Delegates realized that they are under attack from the Iowa Plan, privatization, the speed up occurring in all of our jobs, and a far tougher approach on workers by the Department of Personnel," said newly-elected Local Pres. Dan Kelley. "The actions taken by the convention were to meet those attacks and help protect our jobs."

In his acceptance speech, Kelley pledged to work to increase the local’s political clout, expand the union’s size and fight vigorously against attempts to turn public services over to privateers. In particular, Kelley cited the Iowa Plan, which would hand $35 million in child-welfare monies to private for-profit corporations, as an example of "privatization on steroids" that must be resisted.

"We spent too many years making these jobs family-friendly and we can’t and we won’t go back," Kelley vowed.

The convention unanimously adopted a constitutional amendment to create an automatic escalator in the dues of state employees who belong to Local 893. The immediate impact of the dues increase will be 2.333 cents per day. A portion of the additional income will be earmarked for political action. Delegates also approved a resolution stating "it shall be the policy of this organization to require non-members to pay their fair share of the cost representing them to the maximum extent of the law."

'PREPARE FOR ATTACKS'

Chris Townsend, UE political action director, urged Local 893 members to contact legislators about the Iowa Plan and encourage them to ask questions about the process and investigate the contractors. Townsend also recommended that Local 893 prepare now for likely attacks on Chapter 20, the state law granting collective bargaining rights to public employees. Earlier this year, Local 893 joined with other UE locals in Iowa and other unions to beat back attempts to gut Chapter 20. Send leaflets, letters and petitions, make phone calls, tell lawmakers to keep their hands off the collective bargaining law, it’s not broken, Townsend declared.

Elected to local office were Dan Kelley, president; Bill Austin, vice president; Pat Hasenclever, secretary, Gary Walker, treasurer; and Neal Boeding, trustee.

Pat Hasenclever and Sue Woods will co-chair the local’s political action committee. The Local 893 political action day, an annual event, will take place Feb. 2, 1998.

UE News - 11/97


Home -> UE News -> 1997 Archives -> Article

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