Restoring rights to working Iowans

Iowa Senate News Release
For immediate release: February 7, 2018


(Des Moines) State Senator Nate Boulton, the ranking member of the Senate Labor and Business Committee, is sponsoring two bills to restore rights to working Iowans.

“A year ago, Iowa Republicans took away rights and benefits from many Iowan workers,” Boulton said.  “As a result, Iowa is now a less attractive state to work compared to other states. Hardworking people have choices. By passing this legislation, Iowa can show workers that Iowa is a state where we respect workers and that we are the right place to build a good future for their families.”

Senator Nate Boulton has proposed two bills, Senate File 2185 and Senate File 2186, to restore and improve the rights of Iowa workers.

“Iowa’s shortage of skilled workers is the number one reason our state doesn’t produce enough good paying jobs,” Boulton said.  “We need to convince skilled Iowans to stay in Iowa and to attract skilled workers from other states.  To do that, we must show working people that their voices will be heard, their needs will be considered, and that they will be respected in the workplace.”

Senate File 2185 would allow injured Iowa employees to choose their own doctors.

“Under current law, an injured Iowa worker receiving workers compensation must be treated by a doctor chosen by their employer,” Boulton said.  “This is an obvious conflict of interest.”

Senate File 2186 restores the collective bargaining rights abruptly taken away from several hundred thousand Iowa workers last year.  These rights were first approved in the early 1970s by Republican Governor Robert Ray and a Republican-controlled state legislature. Since that legislation is more than 40 years old, Boulton’s legislation expands those rights so teachers can bargain issues such as class size, so police and firefighters can negotiate on issues like safety equipment and so all workers can negotiate on health insurance.

“We need teachers, nurses, firefighters, corrections officers and other Iowa workers to have a say in the workplace,” Boulton said.  “They should be able to point out problems and advocate for improvements.”

Boulton said approving his proposed legislation would be the first two steps towards improving Iowa’s national image in a way that would help grow the state’s economy.

For more information, contact Senator Boulton at 515-669-4259.