Iowa union files lawsuit against collective bargaining law

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Collective bargaining protest in Davenport.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s largest state employees union has filed a lawsuit challenging a new law that eliminates most collective bargaining rights for public workers.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Iowa Council 61 filed the lawsuit Monday in Polk County District Court. It seeks an order halting immediate enforcement of the changes.

Gov. Terry Branstad on Friday signed the law prohibiting public sector unions from negotiating issues such as health insurance and supplemental pay. It exempts certain public safety employees, such as law enforcement officers and firefighters, from some negotiating provisions.

The lawsuit claims the law establishes two classes of public employee bargaining units, and the designation violates language in the state constitution that ensures equality to citizens.

A Branstad spokesman says the governor’s office is reviewing the lawsuit.

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