AFSCME president Danny Homan  (file photo)

AFSCME president Danny Homan (file photo)

The union representing roughly 40,000 state government employees is requesting an 8-percent increase in salaries over a two-year period. AFSCME Iowa Council 61 submitted the proposal to state officials Monday.

It calls for 2 percent raises on July 1, 2015; January 1, 2016; July 1, 2016; and January 1, 2017. The raises would cost the state around $523 million dollars, according to the Iowa Department of Management.

The current contract for workers represented by AFSCME, covering 2014 and 2015, does not contain across-the-board pay raises. Those collective bargaining negotiations ended when an arbitrator denied a pay increase, but rejected cuts in state employee health insurance benefits, something Governor Branstad wanted.