Unions: the best way to improve working conditions and quality of life for Des Moines workers

Vague laws invite arbitrary power. This is currently what is happening in Iowa regarding CBD. Over-criminalization is a major problem in our cities. This takes many forms and is not just relevant to drug laws.

We should make it clear to our citizens and to our law enforcement what we would like to see in Des Moines. Courts must review and strike down unconstitutionally vague statutes, not just to ensure fair notice to potential defendants, but also to enforce the separation of powers between the branches of government.

Not only does the current imbalance of justice in criminal and civil law get me worked up, but so does the way that the state has treated unions. I was responding to a union questionnaire for city council candidates and so much of what they are asking for seems like common sense to me.

I see unions as the best way to improve working conditions and quality of life for Des Moines workers. The establishment changes in collective bargaining laws unconstitutionally treat some union members differently than others in contract negotiations. Because it grants different rights to different bargaining units, the law unconstitutionally infringes on members’ rights to associate with and be represented by their union.

No longer can most public employees collectively bargain over health insurance, vacation policy, workplace safety issues and myriad other benefits and policies. Essentially, most public employees now can collectively bargain only for base wages. This should not be a partisan issue and it has upset a lot of Iowans. I am one of many.

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