Iowa governor signs into law collective bargaining changes

Gov. Terry Branstad

Gov. Terry Branstad

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad has signed into law changes that will drastically limit how Iowa’s public workers can negotiate over employment conditions.

The Republican governor signed the legislation privately Friday, one day after GOP lawmakers with majorities in the Legislature voted to approve it. Democrats tried to delay chamber votes over several days, but Republicans used a rare procedural move to halt debate.

Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, the incoming governor, were vocal about their support for altering Iowa’s 1974 collective bargaining law, which had allowed public sector unions to negotiate over health insurance, extra pay and other working conditions. Mandatory discussions will now be focused on base wages.

The measure is similar to a 2011 collective bargaining law passed in Wisconsin.