Today, I am writing to ask you to help speak up over the next five days for our public workers – teachers, firefighters, police, correctional officers, human service social workers, sanitation workers, snow plow operators, and many others – who do so much on our behalf to make our communities and our state better.
On Tuesday, Republicans proposed SF213 which would gut the rights of our public workers to organize and negotiate contracts for wages, benefits, and other terms and conditions with local and state elected officials. You can read that bill at the legislative web site, www.legis.iowa.gov.
Among other things, this bill would make it harder for Iowa to recruit and retain great teachers and public workers, would drive down take-home pay for our public workers, and would take away the voice of our public workers.
Instead of attacking public workers, we should be considering legislation to improve the rights, wages, and benefits for all workers in our state. Unfortunately, Republicans are rushing this bill through the legislative process, and we expect they may try to vote on the bill on the floor of the Iowa Senate early next week.
When I sent out a survey to constituents in early January, 73% agreed that “Iowa workers should have the opportunity to organize and bargain for fair wages and benefits.” Only 16% disagreed. That’s why it is so important that you speak up now to help us find five courageous Republicans in the Iowa Senate and ten in the Iowa House who are willing to reject or soften this attack on our public workers.
Here are three events in the next three days where you can participate to help speak up for our public workers:
Mason City Rally for Iowa Working Families
With Senator Ragan and Representatives Steckman and Prichard
Saturday, February 11, at Noon
Mason City Central Park, N Federal and 1st St. NE, in Mason City
March for Iowa’s Teachers
Sunday, February 12, from 2:00 p.m.
Stewart Square near Iowa State Capitolhttps://www.facebook.com/events/373424353032673/
Monday, February 13, at 6:00 p.m.
Iowa Capitol, Room 103
You can sign up to speak with this link: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/committees/publicHearings?action=viewOnlineSignup&meetingID=24398
You can also attend one of the legislative forums this weekend. For a complete list, visit: http://www.infonetiowa.org/calendar/events/
You can contact state legislators directly. For contact information, visit http://www.legis.iowa.gov. You can call the Branstad-Reynolds Administration at 515-281-5211, and please speak up in public.
Finally, mark your calendars now for our next legislative forum in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, February 18, from 10:30 to 11:30 p.m. at Mercy Hospital, 701 10th Street SE, in Cedar Rapids. I hope to see you there.
I hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions, and I will do my best to respond.
Senator Rob Hogg
Senate Democratic Leader
(515) 281-3901 (office)
(515) 281-4610 (assistant)
(319) 247-0223 (home)