Public sector workers in Iowa are covered under Iowa’s Public Employment Relations Act (PERA). This part of the Iowa Code lays out employee and employer rights and restrictions when it comes to organizing and reaching a collective bargaining agreement. Public sector employees in Iowa do not have the right to strike and are guaranteed to contract through the binding arbitration process if the parties reach an impasse at the bargaining table.
Employee Rights Under the Law
The Iowa state law says public sector workers have a right to form a union without fear of reprisal, intimidation, coercion, or interference from the employer. Employees have the right to engage in concerted activities and join together with their coworkers to have a voice in their working standards. If a public employer in Iowa interferes or retaliates against an employee for exercising these rights it is a Prohibitive Practice Charge (PPC) and charges can be filed with Iowa’s Public Employment Relations Board.
Steps in the Organizing Process
- Form a committee of coworkers (organizing committee)
- Assess coworkers
- Sign Authorization Cards or Authorization Petition
- File for a secret ballot election with the Public Employment Relations Board
In the workplace, Local 238 Teamsters set the professional standards for tens of thousands of workers across Iowa in hundreds of industries. The non-union competitors of Teamster employers know if they don’t match our standards – their employees will also organize with the Teamsters, which means we set working standards for whole industries. Local 238’s mission is to fight for our members in order to level the economic playing field for our families.
Off the job, Teamsters Local 238 is involved in campaigns to maintain affordable housing in communities across the state, distribute food to nutritionally challenged Iowans, introduce at-risk youth to HBCUs, the Civil Rights Movement and the Labor Movement, and we are active in disaster relief efforts at an expert level. We strive to elect people to office who are responsive to the issues of Iowa workers and the most vulnerable in our society, and work to hold those elected officials accountable once they get in office.
Teamsters Local 238 is more than a Union. We share a philosophy that none of us is as strong as all of us, and together we can make Iowa a better place to live and work. We are Iowa’s new Labor Movement and we hope you will join us!