Rally in Cerro Gordo draws attention to CBA legislation

The Mason City Public Library was packed full of public workers and concerned citizens to discuss the proposed changes to collective bargaining with Iowa legislators. ZACH CLEMENS PHOTOS

Margo O’Neill (at the podium) reads a letter from her mother, a probabtion offi cer, about the effect the changes will have on her ability to do her job as Steckman, Ragan and Prichard listen.

Franklin County to continue positive negotiations despite possible mandate changes

Public workers convened in Mason City on Saturday, Feb. 11, to voice their concerns over new legislation that would reform Iowa’s Chapter 20 Code on collective bargaining, legislation over 40 years old. Over 150 people crammed into the Mason City Public Library to attend a forum with Sen. Amanda Ragan, D-Cerro Gordo, Rep. Sharon Steckman, D-Cerro Gordo, and Rep. Todd Prichard, D-Floyd, to discuss the possible changes to the collective bargaining agreement.

“This is an attack on the middle class,” Prichard said. “Why does someone in the middle class, with a middle class job have to apologize?”

Many of those in attendance were teachers, but there were also Department of Transportation workers, Public Works employees as well as fire fighters—who wouldn’t be affected, but wanted to show their support for others.

Ragan said these new regulations would affect 184,000 residents of Iowa. Out of the 17 provisions in Chapter 20, 15 would be removed from the negotiating table, and it would affect a lot more workers than just teachers, whom the bill devotes several sections to. 

Read the full article in the Feb. 16 edition of the papers.