A state official overseeing Iowa’s new collective bargaining law says he expects the courts may have to weigh in if employees lose their union representation in first-ever recertification voting.

Voting ends today for several hundred teachers in 13 school districts and community colleges across the state. The Public Employment Relations Board is advising workers that if the vote fails, their contract with their employer goes away. But board chair Mike Cormack says not everyone agrees.

“We provide what we believe our best analysis is on that — but these are a new type of elections — so perhaps it would not be surprising for us to see this end up in a court of law,” Cormack says. The new collective bargaining law requires all public employee bargaining units to periodically vote to continue to be represented by unions.

Cormack says it’s not crystal clear that if a recertification vote fails that teacher contracts with their employer go away.

“There’s a very strong possibility from our view that the contract does end, but there are other Iowans who have other thoughts on that,” Cormack says.”So, I guess the only certainty is that there’s uncertainty there.” A spokesman for the Iowa State Education Association said they will look at all avenues to make things right for their members.. The ISEA and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees are already in court challenging the constitutionality of the collective bargaining law.

(Thanks to Joyce Russell, Iowa Public Radio)