Having recently attended the opening session of bargaining in a local school district, I have some questions for the people of our community.
First, as a reminder, last year’s legislators eliminated the majority of the collective bargaining rights for teachers and other public employees.
One of those items included health insurance. A district is not allowed to include health insurance even if it would wish to do so.
I don’t believe that there are many districts that would have chosen this route as it remains a means of attracting and retaining staff. Insurance now becomes an item for a handbook in a district, one that can be changed unilaterally and is not a subject of bargaining.
My questions are these: Did your representatives campaign on the issue of eliminating collective bargaining rights? Where did this legislation originate? Did your reps vote in favor of this legislation? Do you support the policy of having your children’s teachers worry whether they will retain health insurance from year to year — or day to day? Will you vote in November for representatives who support the elimination of collective bargaining rights as sound policy?
We are all busy. Still, we need to give some thought to the direction that we want for the people of the state of Iowa.
Carolyn L. Stucker