The American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees union is suing the state in reaction to passage last week of House File 291. The bill basically ended most collective bargaining for teachers and other public employees in Iowa. Lawmakers debated the bill all through the night, with some emotional pleas from house and senate Democrats.
We talked with state rep.s Chris Hall and John Wills.
Many Iowa Democratic lawmakers have compared HF 291 with Act 10 passed by Wisconsin Legislators in 2011. That law also gutted collective bargaining and changed the way teachers were hired, promoted, paid and fired. Dave Umphere Is a journalist with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal. He says the union membership decreased after the passage of Act 10 and culture shock set in.
Umphere says there have been some instances of Wisconsin teachers crossing over into Minnesota, looking for better pay and better jobs. School Superintendent Joe Brown of Fairmount Public School District in Minnesota, just over the border from Iowa. Brown is a former Iowa legislator. He wrote a letter to Iowa lawmakers warning them about the damage it could do to schools and teachers and now he is already interviewing teachers from Iowa.
The Sioux City International Film Festival begins today. The lineup includes feature length films, short films, documentaries and more. Students at North High School have created a film called, “A New Tomorrow Begins Today,” about the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., that will be screened tonight at tomorrow at the Stoney Creek Hotel. Producers Kenan Najdawi and Camden Beller say they learned a lot from the people they interviewed for the movie.
Martin luther King Jr. was a pivotal leader in the civil rights era when increasing numbers of African American Students were attending the University of Iowa. But black students were students at the school as early as the 1930s. Their stories are featured in the book, Invisible Hawkeyes: African Americans at the Unviersity of Iowa During the Long Civil Rights Era. UI Associate Professor of English and African American Studies Lena Hill is one of the editors of the book.
Kevin Kling is a storyteller and author many of our listeners may be familiar with - he has appeared on Priarie Home Companion and All Things Considered. He will be in Orange City this week to talk about storytelling and to tell stories. Ally Karsyn talked with him by phone.
This month we featured Ultra Violet as our Artist of the Month. They performed for Ally in Studio A.