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Arbitrator rules in favor of Iowa employees on health care insurance issue

Danny Homan
Danny Homan
DES MOINES – State of Iowa employees won’t have to pay up to 15% of their health care premiums after an auditor decided that at least $20 per month is a more reasonable compromise with the state.

A spokesman for Governor Terry Branstad said that the deal will cost the state upwards of $24 million.

“Though the majority of Iowa taxpayers are picking up a portion of their own health care, they are still picking up a vast majority of the tab for AFSCME employees’ health care,” the spokesman, Jimmy Centers, said in a statement
released to media.

In Iowa, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) represents 40,000 public and private sector employees. AFSCME represents 19,000 state employees covered by AFSCME’s contract with the State of Iowa.

“Arbitrator Behrens’ award found that AFSCME Iowa Council 61’s final offer on health insurance to be the most reasonable,” said AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan.

“As a result of this arbitration award, all employees covered by the State Master Contract and Judicial Branch Contract will pay a minimum $20 per month for an employee health insurance premium, which was the Union’s final offer to the State.

“We are pleased that the arbitrator found in our favor on health insurance. We believe the process worked in such a way as to appropriately balance the interests of state employees and state government.

“Today’s arbitration award shows that Iowa’s current collective bargaining process works.”

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