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University of Iowa Healthcare workers overwhelmingly vote to keep unions

UIHC web 5.19
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinic

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KWWL) -- More than 10,000 healthcare workers, staff and graduate employees at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics have voted overwhelmingly to recertify their unions.

Members of SEIU Local 199, AFSCME Local 12, and UE Local 896-COGS unions voted at least 99% to keep their unions. Members of SEIU Local 199 voted 2,828 to 38 to recertify their union. AFSCME workers voted 99.4% to 0.6% to retain their union. Members of UE Local 896-COGS voted 1,330 to 11 to keep their union.

"This victory is great news for every Iowan," Cathy Glasson, RN, President of SEIU Local 199 said. "The public servants who’ve been fighting for Iowans during the Covid-19 pandemic now have an even stronger voice to speak up for the people we serve."

Workers in all three unions have led calls to combat Covid-19 across the state. Last week, caregivers and staff at UIHC issued a joint statement calling on elected officials to "step up" in the battle against Covid-19.

SEIU Local 199 represents 4,000 RNs and healthcare professionals at UIHC. AFSCME Local 12 represents 4,600 UI staff, as well as nursing assistants and service and maintenance workers at UIHC. UE Local 896–COGS represents about 1,800 graduate employees.

All of the UI and UIHC caregivers and staff are public employees. To keep their unions, they and thousands of other Iowa public service workers had to vote between Oct. 13 and Oct. 27 in recertification elections, which were established by state law in 2017.

A majority of all employees at a workplace must vote yes to keep their union. Iowa’s public employees have voted overwhelmingly to recertify their unions in the elections held since 2017.

All three unions are expected to soon begin contract negotiations with the Iowa Board of Regents.

Trevor Oates

Executive Producer

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