State negotiators today offered state workers a one-percent pay raise for each of the next two years…four percent less than the union had requested. Jim Hanks is a lawyer for the state, who says despite that big gap, he’s confident an agreement can be reached. He says all bargaining usually begins with a big gap, but he says most contracts are settled voluntarily.Jan Corderman, head of the union representing most state workers, says she was glad to see the state offering a pay increase, but adds negotiations will have to continue. She says they’ve worked hard to grapple with the budget issues, and says they were the only union to take a delay in pay increases to help with the budget situation.Corderman says the union wanted the state to pick up a greater share of health-insurance costs, but instead, negotiators for the state of Iowa are asking workers to pay more of the bill. Corderman says they need to move the state up on money and a few other issues like insurance.State attorney Hanks says the state must ask workers to pick up more of the health-insurance premium cost because the state’s premiums are going up by fifteen-percent. He says they’re trying to allocate the costs reasonably between the employer and employee.So the state is asking workers to pay a larger share of their drug costs, and single workers would now pay ten-percent of their healthcare costs. Currently it’s free to those workers.
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