UPMEYER LIED ABOUT COLLECTIVE BARGAINING CONVERSATIONS IN FRIDAY FORUM
Speaker of the Iowa House Linda Upmeyer attended a legislative forum last week in Clear Lake, and answered a constituent’s question about who was involved with creating the legislation that stripped away collective bargaining rights earlier this legislative session. Upmeyer specifically referenced that AFSCME Council 61 had a seat at the table.
AFSCME Council 61 President Danny Homan issued the following statement in response to House Speaker Linda Upmeyer’s statement:
“I find it necessary to correct a complete lie told on Friday by House Speaker Linda Upmeyer to a large group of constituents in Clear Lake. She recalled, ‘When the entire [collective bargaining] discussion started, we brought everybody to the table. We asked, Danny Homan was in my office.’ When an audience member chimed in, ‘You didn’t ask anybody,’ Speaker Upmeyer responded, ‘Yes we did, and the response was no.’ Amanda Ragan asked, ‘Was Danny the only one you asked?’ Speaker Upmeyer responded, ‘There were other people in the room who said no.’ She then referenced our two lobbyists, whose names she couldn’t recall.
“To set the record straight, no one from AFSCME was ever spoken to in reference to the collective bargaining bill. We never saw the bill and we never had the opportunity to give input on the bill. We had one conversation with Speaker Upmeyer prior to the start of the legislative session. My lobbyists and I met with leadership in both chambers to ask for a seat at the table if collective bargaining was going to be reopened this year. Speaker Upmeyer’s office never returned our phone calls, which led us to reach out to Majority Leader Chris Hagenow for a meeting. Speaker Upmeyer showed up to this meeting that took place on January 3rd and lasted 30 minutes. We were told in no uncertain terms that there were no set plans for collective bargaining and we simply asked that if plans were made, that we be given a seat at the table.
“On February 7th, the collective bargaining bill was released in both the House and the Senate without any input from AFSCME. After thousands of calls and contacts to legislators advocating against this dangerous bill, it was passed without any conversations with AFSCME or any Iowa workers at the table. Linda Upmeyer lied to Iowans when she said AFSCME was given a voice in the crafting of the collective bargaining bill. Let’s be clear who was pushing this legislation: the Koch brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity, which was made perfectly clear by Drew Klein being given exclusive access to the Governor’s private bill signing. Out-of-state corporate interests wrote this bill, put it in Speaker Upmeyer’s hands, and pulled the puppet strings to get it passed.”