DES MOINES — The Iowa State Education Association on Monday filed a notice of appeal with the Iowa Supreme Court over a the denial made last month of a summary judgment challenging several components of the state's collective bargaining law.
"This litigation is one component of our fight to win back the rights taken from our members in the last legislative session," ISEA President Tammy Wawro said in a statement.
The summary judgment was the initial step in the ISEA’s April filing of a lawsuit against the state of Iowa over House File 291, which resulted in public employees being stripped of all but base wage as mandatory collective bargaining items, in Iowa District Court in Polk County. The summary judgment was denied last month by Iowa Fifth Judicial District Judge Michael Huppert.
The appeal asks the court to consider whether the new law:
Violates the Uniformity Clause found in Article I, Section 6, of the Iowa Constitution because it establishes different collective bargaining rights for bargaining units containing less than 30 percent public safety employees;
Violates the Uniformity Clause of the Iowa Constitution because it prohibits the use of payroll deduction for payment of employee organization dues, while continuing to allow such payment for dues connected with professional or trade organizations; and
Violates the substantive due process rights of members with new requirements to certify, retain and decertify employee organizations.
There is no time limit for the Supreme Court's decision, something ISEA public relations specialist Jean Hessburg was surprised to learn, but she said the process could take 12 to 18 months.
In filing the appeal, the ISEA is asking the Supreme Court to review the constitutionality of Chapter 20 as well as the district court's denial.
"We're hopeful that the Supreme Court will see the Constitution supports our claims," Hessburg said.
Representing the ISEA is Becky Knutson of Des Moines-based legal firm Davis Brown. Knutson has a background in general practice as well as labor and employment and education law.