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News and resources regarding COVID-19

NEWS 5.11.21: IA Unemployment Cuts, School Raises, Dakota County C-19 Vaccine Clinic, and More

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State of Iowa
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Governor Kim Reynolds says Iowa will join a group of Republican-led states ending pandemic-related federal programs that give extra cash to unemployed workers.

Reynolds says the state will end the federal boost, including additional $300-a-week unemployment payments.

Reynolds says benefits are keeping people from returning the work and are hindering the state's economy — a charge echoed by Republican governors in several other states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Montana and South Carolina.

The benefits will end June 12. 

(See more information below from the state of Iowa)

Sioux City School District teachers and support staff will receive a pay increase for the next school year.

The Sioux City Community School board reached agreements with organizations that represent teachers and staff members at last night’s board meeting. 

According to the Sioux City Journal, teachers with a bachelor’s degree will see a $540 salary increase. The starting salary for a first-year teacher in Sioux City is now more than $43,000.

Including wages and benefits, the total package increase is more than 2.4%.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reports no new deaths due to complications of COVID-19 and almost 300 new cases, including a dozen in Woodbury County.

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Credit Siouxland District Health

The Dakota County Health Department announced plans for a vaccination clinic on Saturday. People can receive first and second doses at College Center in South Sioux City from 10 a.m. until noon.

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Credit Dakota County Health Department

Safewise announced the “20 Safest City in Iowa” list for 2021. Sioux Center is number one, with Spencer coming in at number 10.

To see what cities rounded out the rest of the rankings, click here: https://www.safewise.com/state-of-safety/ia/

The public will be able to watch the trial of the man charged with killing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts — but not in person. Citing COVID-19 protocols, Judge Joel Yates said in an order dated Monday that members of the public and news media will not be allowed to attend the trial of Cristhian Bahena Rivera that starts next week. But he said news outlets can operate remote-controlled video cameras to broadcast the proceedings live on the internet or television. Rivera is expected to stand trial beginning Monday in Davenport for first-degree murder in the death of Tibbetts, 20, who disappeared in July 2018 while out for a run in her hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa.

Today governors from 19 states, including all three Siouxland states issued a joint letter urging President Joe Biden to take immediate action on what they call the “crisis at the southern border”.

They say as the number of migrant crossings has reached the highest level in about 20 years, the issue is too big to ignore and the administration is leaving states on their own to fix a crisis they created.

News release from the Governor of Iowa:

Iowa to end participation in federal unemployment benefit programs, citing strong labor market and recovering economy 

DES MOINES, IA – Today Governor Kim Reynolds announced new measures to address the State of Iowa’s severe workforce shortage. Effective June 12, 2021, the State of Iowa will end its participation in federal pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs. Iowa will continue to provide regular state unemployment insurance benefits to those eligible under the applicable state code. 

“Federal pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs initially provided displaced Iowans with crucial assistance when the pandemic began,” said Gov. Reynolds. “But now that our businesses and schools have reopened, these payments are discouraging people from returning to work. Our unemployment rate is at 3.7 percent, vaccines are available to anyone who wants one, and we have more jobs available than unemployed people.”  

The week ending June 12, 2021 will be the last week that the following federal pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs are available in Iowa: 

  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) 
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) 
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) 
  • Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC)

Additionally, effective June 13, 2021, Iowa will no longer waive employer charges for COVID-related unemployment insurance claims. 
“Regular unemployment benefits will remain available, as they did before the pandemic, but it’s time for everyone who can to get back to work,” Gov. Reynolds continued. “This country needs to look to the future, and Iowa intends to lead the way.” 

News release from Iowa Workforce Development:

Iowa to end participation in federal unemployment benefit programs, citing strong labor market and recovering economy 

DES MOINES, IA – Today Governor Kim Reynolds announced new measures to address the State of Iowa’s severe workforce shortage. Effective June 12, 2021, the State of Iowa will end its participation in federal pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs. The Governor also announced that effective June 13, 2021, Iowa will no longer waive employer charges for COVID-related unemployment insurance claims. 

Iowa will continue to pay regular unemployment claims. The following information is provided for impacted claimants: 

  • Claimants who have exhausted their traditional 26 weeks of unemployment benefits and are now receiving benefits through the federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program will no longer be eligible for UI payments after June 12, 2021, the last payable week for PEUC. 
  • Iowa will no longer issue supplemental $300 weekly payments to claimants under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program. This payment was made to all Iowans who were receiving unemployment benefits regardless of the program under which they are being paid. The last payable week for FPUC will be the week ending June 12, 2021. 
  • Iowa will no longer participate in the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. PUA presently provides benefits to the self-employed, the underemployed, independent contractors, and individuals who have been unable to work due to health or COVID-19-related reasons. The last payable week for PUA will be the week ending June 12, 2021. 
  • Iowa will no longer participate in the Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program, which offers supplemental payments to individuals who had both traditional W-2 income as well as self-employment income. 

“The overwhelming message we receive from employers these days is the lack of workforce that is adversely affecting their ability to recover from the pandemic,” said Director Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce Development. “There are currently over 66,000 job openings posted on https://www.iowaworks.gov/vosnet/Default.aspx. Our field offices are open and ready to help. We are very excited to return to providing the support and help we love to provide – helping Iowans find their next great job or new career pathway and helping employers find their next great employee.” 

Iowans can search for new jobs, including teleworking opportunities at https://www.iowaworks.gov/vosnet/Default.aspx

Impacted unemployment insurance claimants will receive official notification from IWD with more information about how these changes affect them individually. We will also continue to update our webpage with relevant information and assistance. https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/ Due to current call volumes, customers are encouraged to call IWD only if they need assistance filing their claims. Additional customer questions can be answered by emailing UIClaimsHelp@Iwd.iowa.gov

Today governors from 19 states, including all three Siouxland states issued a joint letter urging President Joe Biden to take immediate action on what they call the “crisis at the southern border”.

They say as the number of migrant crossings has reached the highest level in about 20 years, the issue is not too big to ignore and the administration is leaving states on their own to fix a crisis they created. They demand the federal government take immediate action.

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