A Victory for Iowa Teachers!

Less than a year after the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation’s landmark Janus v. AFSCME case freed public sector employees from having to support a labor union against their will, the Iowa State Supreme Court has dealt AFSCME another crushing blow by upholding a 2017 monopoly bargaining reform law.  The decision will free thousands of Iowa public employees who were subject to the power of public employee unions to decide their working conditions.  The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, one of the most powerful public employee unions in the country, has just been dealt another blow by the Iowa State Supreme Court.  The judges also upheld a prohibition on automatic deduction of union dues.   Shelby Flieg and Robin Opsahl have the story in the Des Moines Register.

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled 4-3 Friday that the Legislature’s 2017 rewrite of the state’s collective bargaining law — which said government agencies were not required to negotiate with public employee unions on any topic besides base wages — is constitutional.

Justice Thomas Waterman, writing for the majority, said the claims by American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Iowa Council 61 members — that the law violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution — failed because the plaintiffs “cannot meet their burden of refuting every reasonable basis upon which the classification could be sustained.”