Mason City man speaks at collective bargaining bill public hearing
DES MOINES — One of the three dozen people who spoke at a public hearing on Monday night at the statehouse against the collective bargaining bill is a state worker from Mason City. Darrell Erickson says a lot of public sector workers take time away from their families during nights and holidays to provide services that others don’t want to do. He says he doesn’t want to see Iowa’s standards for public workers lowered. He says, “When public sector employees are negatively affected, their communities suffer as well. Legislation such as this has led to shortages of teachers, public safety officers, and snow operators in our neighboring states that have passed similar legislation. Let’s not be like them. Let’s have Iowa be a leader and show everybody we can do things the right way.” Erickson says the changes made in Wisconsin have been negative. He says, “Since Act 10 was passed in Wisconsin, they’ve ranked 32nd in the nation in private sector job growth. Since the Great Recession, their private sector jobs have grown by a measly 2-point-4 percent, while Iowa’s grown 4-point-1 percent.” Erickson says public employees are the ones working to make communities better. He says, “We are your neighbors. The ones that coach our young athletes together, the ones that go to church together, and the ones that belong to the same civic and service clubs together. The key word to this is together. Collective bargaining works when it is done together. Please reject these changes to collective bargaining that take away the workers’ voice. Let’s work together to make Iowa a leader in people wanting to come to our state and work and raise their families, and know that they have a voice and are important to the success of our state. Please remember that one word folks…together.” Erickson is an engineering operations technician for the Iowa Department of Transportation.