One day before contract negotiations kick off between the union that represents state workers and Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, a top union official criticized the governor for giving bonuses to top staffers while asking for concessions from public sector employees.
Danny Homan, president of Iowa Council 61 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, criticized Branstad on Friday for seeking to have union members pay part of their health insurance costs. Homan says that would be a hardship for his 20,000 members.
A spokesman for Branstad defended the bonuses and argued union members should pay their share of health care costs.
Negotiations start Saturday. If the two sides can't make a deal, Homan said the process will go to arbitration February 11th.