Teachers re-certify their rights


William Heirigs

This bag of chips is used to spread awareness of the recertification. The bag acts as a reminder to vote yes for recertification.

Joseph Heirigs and William Heirigs

Due to recent developments, some individuals and teachers are led to believe that the state doesn’t particularly care for the future of education. On Wednesday Oct. 30, the law known as Chapter 20 of the Iowa State Codes was recertified by the teachers of Iowa. Chapter 20 primarily protects the power of teachers’ voices. 

Chapter 20 was a law passed in 1974 in response to the teacher strikes, namely the strike that happened in Keokuk, Iowa. It is a law that protects teachers’ collective choice to have a Union. This grants them the ability to bargain on job benefits, wages, hours, and vacation time with their respective school districts and the state government. It also prohibits any and all public employees from going on strike. This very law is what safeguards the teachers of Iowa and gives them a voice.

The most crucial detail about Chapter 20 is its benefit of giving job security. A job at McDonald’s or Subway holds no security. These are called “at-will” jobs because one can be fired with little reason or cause. Chapter 20 protects teachers from being terminated without due process.

As a student, one may question, “How does this affect me?” 

“You would begin to see an exodus of teachers,” TAG teacher Jay Swords said.

Without job security, and the ability to negotiate, they would leave. It would be unsurprising if teachers moved to a different state that would treat them better, and give them their former power back.

Still, this does not answer the questions students may have about how this directly affects them. It does not, it is the inadvertent and indirect effects that come after that will. Many electives available to students would be eliminated, and the quality of teaching would go down altogether. Students would be pushed into more classes together, rather than spread apart for a better student-to-teacher ratio of teaching. 

The detriments to the quality of education is simple to think of, it does provide a more thought-provoking question. How valuable is education in the eyes of the state?

Students have always been told to appreciate and value education, but how can this be done if those that are entrusted to educate are not valued in the first place?

“[The] State made a cheap shot at no voting,” Social studies teacher Jack Achs said. 

The State made teachers’ unions differ from other government workers such as policemen and firefighters back in 2017. According to the 14th Amendment, doing such is unconstitutional. 

Turning every non-voter into a no-vote is seemingly unjust because “Where in [a] democracy does that happen?” Achs said. 

An excerpt from the 14th amendment, states that “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.”