Change to union benefits could impact lawmakers
DES MOINES (AP) — An arbitrator is expected to announce a new contract for state workers today, and if that deal includes Gov. Terry Branstad’s request that the employees begin paying a share of their health insurance costs, legislators could soon follow suit.
That’s because legislators, like the unionized workers, have long had health plans in which they can opt for the state to pay all the costs. Legislative leaders said Wednesday that if the arbitrator decides the workers should begin sharing the costs, lawmakers would review their benefits.
“Usually what the Legislature will do, we will accept whatever is bargained and negotiated,” said Senate President Pam Jochum, D-Dubuque. “We don’t put ourselves above other state workers.”
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