I am a state employee with the Department of Corrections. I have heard a lot of opinions regarding our state budget. Gov. Terry Branstad’s perception is that state employees are overpaid and a burden to taxpayers. He stresses that the private sector work force makes on average less than what state employees make, therefore, it’s only fair for state workers to contribute more toward health care or take a pay cut.
When did being a state employee become a burden? The majority of state workers are college educated people who do jobs that are not offered in the private sector. State workers should be presented as hardworking men and women forging out a livelihood for themselves and their families.
It appears Branstad wants to follow in the footsteps of Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and eliminate our right to collective bargaining or at least limit them. Mr. Governor, I invite you to sit down with my family and get to know a regular “Joe” state employee. I invite you to sit with state union officials and discuss a fair contract.
I’m a proud state worker who wants what is best for the state of Iowa as well. Republican or Democrat, it doesn’t matter, all of us need to put those views aside and act like human beings. Fiscal responsibility does not have to mean political warfare.
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