Education students question future with collective bargaining ch - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Education students question future with collective bargaining changes

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The largest state employee union is firing back at the state's decision to change collective bargaining laws.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Iowa Council 61 is suing the state to immediately stop enforcement of the changes to Iowa's bargaining law. 

The lawsuit says the new law violates language in the state constitution that promises equality to Iowans.

The bill sign by Governor Branstad on Friday, limits the union's ability to negotiate beyond employee wages.

 But it isn't just current public employees who are concerned about the changes. 

 KWWL spoke with University of Northern Iowa students who are studying to become teachers.

 "I know for me, I still have a couple years left before I graduate and go out into the field, but it is still something that while it is affecting us now, it is still going to effect us for years to come," said Anajli Patel who is a UNI student studying to be a history teacher.

  "With these changes, there is less incentive for people to want to become a teacher because they don't have as good of collective bargaining rules anymore," said Coren Hucke, a future music teacher.

 But despite the change to collective bargaining these students say they are still on a path to becoming teachers because of their passion.

 "I am definitely concerned, but I am not going to bail out just yet. It makes me nervous," said Kelsey Rasmussen, who wants to be an art teacher.

 "Obviously I think it is important that teachers, especially, have those opportunities to have their voices heard. I think that I will probably still stay in Iowa. I think Iowa is still a great state for education, but it is definitely something you need to keep on your radar," said Patel.

 "I think, I'd still like to stay and teach in Iowa, but it definitely gave me pause. Iowa is suppose to have a reputation for being near the top in the nation for education issues and how we treat our teachers. With this change, I am not sure that is so true anymore," said Hucke.

However, the students say they have looked at what other states' laws offer teachers.

Patel, Hucke, and Rasmussen say the ability to negotiate health care is important to them.

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