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Local 893, IUP Celebrates
Twenty Years of Progress


UE893/IUP - Celebrating 20 Years of Progress ...

The annual state convention of UE Local 893, Iowa United Professionals, on Oct. 5 celebrated 20 years of union activism and committed the statewide union to further struggle on behalf of Iowa public-sector employees.

Twenty years ago, Iowa Department of Human Services workers became so fed up with excessively high dues, lack of representation and disrespect that they left AFSCME and organized their own independent union, Iowa United Professionals. The first IUP convention met Sept. 25, 1982. (IUP voted to affiliate with UE in 1993.)

Local 893 Pres. Bill Austin discussed the challenges facing the union, particularly getting a good contract at a time when the state doesn’t have much money, and the threat of a raid by AFSCME (since collapsed).

The union also faces the continuing challenge of managers who failed to value the work of state employees represented by Local 893, either because a majority are women or because many DHS employees work with segments of the population who are largely disenfranchised, Austin said.


The convention elected a negotiation committee and endorsed the bargaining priorities established in contract surveys returned by the membership. Also, the convention approved the amendments to the UE Constitution endorsed by the recent 67th UE National convention.

Genl. Sec.-Treas. Bruce Klipple told the Iowa public employees of UE’s efforts to bring collective bargaining to North Carolina’s public sector. He also reported on the national convention.

District 11 Pres. Carl Rosen led a discussion on how to achieve contract demands. The state convention also heard remarks by Dave Campbell, a long-time unionist and Democratic candidate for the state legislature, and UE Political Action Dir. Chris Townsend.

Campbell was one of 19 candidates endorsed by the convention. Topping the list were Gov. Tom Vilsack and Lt. Gov. Sally Pederson, whose administration has not been without criticism by Local 893. Pres. Austin observed that "it’s an uncommon road that has no rough patches," and pointed out that "the real culprits" over the past two years have been "an uncertain economy and a legislature with misplaced priorities."

Marking IUP’s 20th anniversary, four of the founding members described the high hopes and fighting idealism that led rank-and-file activists to build their own independent union. The panelists were Ron Ewald (Local 1), Pat Morrissey (Local 2), Barb Adams (Local 3), and Tom Rusk (Local 9).

Immediately following adjournment, many delegates participated in an informational picket in support of UE Local 1159 on strike against unfair labor practices and for a first contract at Azteca Foods in Chicago.

UE News - 12/02

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