To the ire of many of his fellow democrats, Iowa Governor Chet Culver has vetoed a controversial bill that would have significantly expanded the number of issues Iowa?s teachers unions and school districts can negotiate. The labor backed bill would have required districts to negotiate with the local union on such issues as class size, the length of teachers? preparation periods, procedures for evaluating teachers, as well how teachers can be disciplined or dismissed. By making such issues mandatory subjects of bargaining, Iowa school districts would have had to make some big changes in how they do business, shifting a lot of decision making from the purview of management to one that would necessitate giving unions a lot more say.
In vetoing the bill, the Governor cited concerns that it would have increased labor costs and obligated taxpayers to ?substantial new public expenditures.??? His reasoning? With more issues on the bargaining table, union demands increase and then so do public expenditures. In any case, Iowa?s current bargaining law is already broader than most states, explicitly mandating issues such as teacher transfers and layoffs as mandatory subjects of bargaining. Visit the new map on Tr3 to see how Iowa?s labor law compares to other states.