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November 19th, 2010

Governor Culver Gives “OK” to the Proposed 15-percent Union Salary Increase

Two-year agreement will cost Iowa taxpayers an additional $103.5 million in the first year alone

Governor Culver accepted a proposal with AFSCME, the largest employee union, today. The accepted proposal allows over 50,000 eligible government employees to receive up to a 15-percent pay raise over the next two years. For the first year of this deal it will cost Iowa taxpayers $103.5 million for the salary increases alone.

Ed Failor, Jr., President of Iowans for Tax Relief, said today, “In a last ditch effort, Governor Culver stuck his finger in the eye of all Iowa taxpayers. One month ago, days before the election, Governor Culver proposed returning a projected tax surplus to the taxpayers. Yet after his devastating loss, he turned back on his word and spent taxpayers’ hard earned dollars on government employee salaries. Yet again Governor Culver’s decisions leave taxpayers holding a bigger bill for government.”

Two years ago Governor Culver made a 10% across-the-board cut to the state budget, and the Union bargained to have employees accept five unpaid furlough days and delayed their deferred compensation payments to help balance the Iowa budget. The Iowa economy is slowly improving yet it’s not back to strong employment numbers; Iowa Workforce Development reports over 113,000 are still out of work.

Failor continued, “Governor Culver’s office calls this deal ‘modest’. Yet today those eligible employees, by taking five unpaid days off, are being rewarded with up to a 15-percent salary increase. Too many Iowans feel they are working to feed government’s bad spending habits, and the announced agreement today is a perfect example of why they were right to elect a new governor.”

Read the story by the Cedar Rapids Gazette here.

Photo by Dave Davidson

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