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Wife of Slain Anamosa Prison Guard Calls for Expanding Union Rights

The wife of a prison guard who was murdered by an inmate at the Anamosa State Penitentiary is calling for changes in Iowa’s collective bargaining law. 

Sara McFarland joined an Iowa Federation Labor rally in the state capitol on Monday.

Sara’s husband, Robert McFarland, and prison nurse Lorena Schulte were killed nearly two years ago as two inmates attempted to escape. Sara McFarland says prison staff like her late husband should be allowed to bargain over work conditions and safety issues. Under current law, prison staff are not classified as public safety officers and are only allowed to discuss their wages during union contract talks.

Other union members at the event urged Iowans to rally around union priorities like raising the minimum wage and letting Iowans see a doctor of their choice if they’re injured at work. Iowa Federation of Labor president Charlie Wishman acknowledges it will require electing new people to the state legislature and congress who support union priorities.

There was no mention of a bill pending in the legislature that would change the rules for union re-certification votes before collective bargaining talks begin in state and local government.


story courtesy of Radio Iowa

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