AFSCME members criticize governor ahead of negotiations - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

AFSCME members criticize governor ahead of negotiations

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

Contract negotiations kick off Saturday between the union that represents state workers and Governor Terry Branstad, but not without criticism first.

Local members of AFSCME Iowa Council 61 spoke about it Friday in Iowa City, at the same time five other similar events were happening across the state.

The Union is criticizing the governor for seeking to have union members pay part of their health insurance costs.  They say there's a double standard -- while Branstad wants concessions from public sector employees, he's giving bonuses to his top staffers.

AFSCME District 6 VP Marty Hathaway said, "We believe Iowans deserve an honest and open and scandal free government. They deserve leaders who are fair and don't create a double standard between the political appointees and the middle class Iowans."

A spokesman for Governor Branstad defends the bonuses and argues union members should pay their share of health care costs.  Negotiations start Saturday.  If the two sides can't make a deal, the process will go to arbitration next month.

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