City of Waterloo sends clear message to state legislators - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

City of Waterloo sends clear message to state legislators

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One city sending a message to state legislators.

Waterloo City Council approving two resolutions, Monday night.

The first resolution is in response to the state's recent changes to limit collective bargaining rights for city employees.

The second a blanket statement to the state in support of city rights. 

As you will remember, lawmakers, cut things like health benefits and working conditions from the mandatory bargaining rights last month.

Public safety employees were the only ones not affected by the changes.

The new law bringing high emotions during the process and those emotions were present at Monday's city council.

"I abstain." said Councilman Steve Schmitt.

"Coward," yelled someone in the crowd.

"Piece of s***," yelled someone in the crowd.

City workers, voicing their disdain when Councilmen Steve Schmitt and Tom Lind both abstained from the vote.

The rest of the councilmen present at the meeting, voting yes on a resolution stating the city supports Waterloo City Workers and recognizes their right to bargaining all aspect of their job standards, despite the state saying otherwise.

"It is not a waste of time to support our workers. It is not a waste of time to support their rights to collective bargaining. . . It created divisions between public safety employees and our other public employees and I found that despicable. This resolution is a way to say to all of our public employees. . .that you all are important," said Councilman Pat Morrissey.

The city is only required to give workers like those who repair your street, the right to negotiate wages.

On the other hand, police and firefighters kept their right to negotiate benefits, working conditions and other parts of the job.

Waterloo, now saying, all works should have the same bargaining rights.

However, Councilman Schmitt says city council is not the place for this discussion.

"This motion is a purely political motion. It will have no impact, other than reaffirming to the folks in Des Moines that the City of Waterloo seems to think that it can operate differently," said Schmitt.

The city attorney telling KWWL, the resolution has no legally binding effects.

It is simply a statement of support, one the many city employees present at the meeting say they appreciate.

The second resolution passed by council says the city doesn't approve of any legislation that aims, "now or in the future to eliminate, diminish, or rescind Iowa's long stand history and legal precedent of home rule/local control."

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