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Union Calling on Governor to Overrule Eviction Notices Sent to State Park Employees

The union that represents park rangers is calling on the governor and the legislature to overrule the eviction notices sent to state employees who live in state-owned homes inside 23 state parks. 

Iowa DNR officials say it’s too expensive to do repairs and maintenance on the housing where park rangers and some other park staff have been living, so the employees have been told they must move out by November 30th. 

The Iowa State Police Officers Council is the union that represents park rangers and, according to the union, the DNR has ended negotiations over the evictions. 

The union’s president says it’s ironic that the DNR decided there’s a “business need” to maintain state-owned housing for staff who work at the state fisheries, but is on the verge of doing just the opposite for park rangers. 

According to a timeline released by the union, the affected staff were told a year ago that they had to start paying rent or find a document showing the DNR required them to live in the home. The union says that’s a violation of the workers’ contracts, because that housing subsidy was part of their pay. A spokesperson for the agency has said the decision to evict the park rangers is about the future of the state park system and two-thirds of the state parks, forests and preserves do not have staff living on the property. 

Backbone State Park is not listed as one of the state parks where on-site housing is to be vacated by DNR staffers, but George Wyth, Palisades-Kepler and Pikes Peak are among the local state parks included.

 

story courtesy of Radio Iowa

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