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Outrageous! Iowa’s Lame Duck Guv Slams State With $200 Million Union Deal

Iowa’s outgoing Democrat Governor Chet Culver gave his union buddies at AFSCME a true ‘sweetheart deal’ on Friday—a two-year contract worth $200 million taken from Iowa’s taxpayers.

The funny thing is, Culver didn’t even bother to negotiate a better deal for the state’s taxpayers. In fact, Culver didn’t bother to negotiate at all.  Instead, Culver took what was asked for by AFSCME and put it into effect leaving the next administration (and taxpayers) to deal with it.

Iowa union workers will see multiple pay raises over the next two years under a contract proposal approved by Governor Culver.

In a rare move Governor Culver accepted AFSCME’s contract proposal as submitted and with no negotiation.

According to the Des Moines Register

The wage hike plan would give members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, better known as AFSCME, two raises in each of the next two fiscal years.

Those employees would receive a 2 percent wage increase on July 1, 2011, and another 1 percent the following Jan. 1. They would receive identical raises in the following year.

In addition, many union members who are not at the top of their pay grade would receive an additional 4.5 percent raise, known as a step increase, for certain professional milestones or for job longevity and other career advancements.

The total cost of the contract is estimated at around $200 million over two years, based on previous data released by the state department of management.

The Sioux City Journal is more pointed, however:

The only thing we might find “historic” about the tentative two-year deal reached Friday between the state’s largest employee union and the Culver administration is the level of contempt it demonstrates for Iowa taxpayers and the brazen, cynical political maneuvering that went on to make it happen.

Iowans should be nothing short of appalled.

The agreement reached Friday – a deal termed “historic” by American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 61 President Danny Homan – covers nearly 21,000 state workers from July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2013, and likely will be finalized sometime in December after union leaders review the proposal and submit it to rank-and-file members for ratification.

It’s a sweetheart deal for the union, to be sure. At first blush, it may seem “modest,” as Culver’s lead negotiator Jim Hanks termed it, but in totality it is nothing short of exorbitant. In fact, state workers covered by the contract and not yet at full scale stand to see annual wage increases of 7.5 percent during the term of the contract. No, that’s not a typo. They will get a 7.5 percent raise.

A sweetheart deal indeed…

And Iowa’s taxpayers get stuck with the $200 million tab.

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“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.”  Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

X-posted.

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