Union files legal action against Gov. Branstad over health care - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Union files legal action against Governor Branstad over health care

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DES MOINES (KWWL) -

AFSCME Iowa Council 61 filed a prohibited practice complaint against Governor Terry Branstad on Tuesday. 

The complaint, which was filed with the Iowa Public Employment Relations Board, is in response to Governor Branstad's recent actions regarding state employee health insurance.

"Iowa law is clear. Health insurance plans and health insurance open enrollment for contract employees are topics covered under collective bargaining. It is a prohibited practice to make unilateral changes outside of the collective bargaining process which is outlined in Iowa law," said AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan.

Homan says that Governor Branstad's Executive Order to allow state employee's to voluntarily pay up to 20 percent of their own health care costs created four new health plans and created a new open enrollment period.  He says that is all in violation of collective bargaining rules.

In response, Tim Albrecht, Communications Director for Governor Terry Branstad, says, "This is nothing more than a tactic by union bosses to perpetuate a system where taxpayers fund Cadillac health care plans, and to intimidate their own members against voluntarily following the governor's lead."

Albrecht added, "Iowans are paying up to 100 percent of their family's health care costs, and the union bosses simply expect Iowans to pay for the sterling health care plans for their workers too."

Albrecht believes that if state workers were to pay some of their own costs, they would take some ownership of their own health and will lead healthier lives.

Homan expects that this issue will be heard by the Iowa Public Employment Relations Board and hopes it is resolved before the new health plans take affect on August 1.

Negotiations for the new collective bargaining agreement are expected to begin this fall.

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