A deal!

This just released from the governor’s office (upstaging the 1pm news conference):


DES MOINES — The State of Iowa and AFSCME/Iowa Council 61 have reached an Understanding to protect 479 AFSCME state jobs that are targeted for layoffs pursuant to Governor Chet Culver’s 10 percent across the board budget cuts mandated by Executive Order 19.  The 479 positions include front line correctional officers, parole probation officers and other support positions that help to provide for our public safety.

This Understanding between the State of Iowa, Executive Branch and AFSCME/Iowa Council 61 leadership will now be presented to the entire AFSCME membership for approval.  The terms of the agreement will not be implemented unless and until approved by a majority vote of the membership.

This Understanding involves the following:

1) Each of the approximately 20,000 state employees who are covered by the AFSCME Master Agreement will be required to take 5 (five) mandatory unpaid days during the remaining 7 months of FY2010 which ends June 30, 2010.  This provision will create approximately $22,701,785 in savings.

2) The deferred compensation program for State Employees will undergo temporary changes to suspend the State’s contribution through June 30, 2010.  The employees’ contribution to the deferred compensation program will remain as currently allowed under the AFSCME Master Agreement.  This provision will create approximately $3,707,793 in savings.

3) The combined savings of approximately $26,409,578 will be used to save 479 AFSCME jobs that would otherwise have been laid off in order to satisfy the 10 percent across the board budget reductions mandated under Executive Order 19.

4) In the event the terms of the Understanding are approved by its membership, no AFSCME/Iowa Council 61 Executive  Branch state employee will be laid off between the date of approval and the end of the current fiscal year (June 30, 2010).

5) Through June 30, 2010, employees who are outside the bargaining units and who are being laid off will not be permitted to displace employees who are in the bargaining units covered by the AFSCME Master Agreement.

AFSCME/Iowa Council 61 expects the voting to begin no later than November 19, 2009 and will conclude no later than November 25, 2009.  This schedule fits within the timeline for Governor Culver’s plan to cut the state budget by 10 percent.

“I want to thank the leadership at AFSCME for joining with us to save these essential public service jobs,” said Governor Culver. “This understanding will help preserve vital services for Iowans while meeting our obligation to balance the state budget.  This is a positive step forward and I encourage the membership to vote yes on this measure.”

“The AFSCME bargaining team has worked very hard with the Governor’s office and the state of Iowa to find an understanding that would save as many bargaining unit jobs as possible,” said Danny Homan.  “We thank the Governor for giving us the opportunity to sit down with him and have input on this issue.”

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.