The leaders of the three unions representing state workers have said “no” to reopening contract talks in order to freeze state workers’ pay. House Republican Leader Christopher Rants of Sioux City says that means lay-offs or more unpaid furlough days for state workers, or cuts to education. Rants says they offered the freeze as a way to avoid cuts to k-12 education, and he says the refusal to consider the freeze means we’ll probably have fewer state workers. Rants wants democrat Governor Tom Vilsack to ask the union heads to reconsider and take the pay freeze idea to their rank-and-file for a vote. Rants says they feel the governor is the right person to ask the union since Vilsack was endorsed by the union.Senate Republican Leader Stewart Iverson of Dows says it makes sense to freeze workers’ pay rather than start sending out pink slips, as it would keep people working.Legislators say they’d save 30-million dollars by forcing every state worker to take one-half-day of unpaid leave each month for the next 12 months.
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