r.richardson@mchsi.com

Who benefits from expanding options on teacher retirement plans?

Randy Richardson, retired associate executive director of the Iowa State Education Association, shares the backstory on regulations Iowa Republicans weakened during this year’s legislative session. -promoted by desmoinesdem

On December 8, Bleeding Heartland shared a post entitled “Iowa Republicans Found Yet Another Way to Hurt Teachers This Year.” The post outlines the passage of House File 569, a bill that allowed 30 additional vendors to offer 403(b) products to teachers starting this year. GOP State Senator Tim Kraayenbrink, who is also a financial adviser, dismissed Democrats’ claims that the array of investments would be too confusing and allow companies to charge exorbitant fees on teachers’ savings. But is that accurate?

As someone who was very involved in the transition to the Retired Investors Club that is administered by the Department of Administrative Services, I thought it might be a good time to revisit why this all took place.

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Alternative teacher pay plans returning to Iowa

Randy Richardson, a former teacher and retired associate executive director of the Iowa State Education Association, explains how an alternative to the traditional salary schedule could affect teachers across Iowa. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Teachers in Iowa and across the country are typically paid based upon a negotiated salary schedule. This schedule includes a “base salary” for teachers with a bachelor’s degree and no previous teaching experience. In addition, the salary schedule includes vertical “steps” that increase pay each year (up to a maximum number of years) as teachers accrue more experience, and horizontal steps that allow teachers to earn more pay based upon getting additional education. These horizontal steps usually include additional pay for academic credit hours beyond a bachelor’s degree and another bump with the earning of advanced degrees (masters and PhD).

In Iowa, teachers usually entered into negotiations every year with the school district to arrive at a new collective bargaining agreement. This agreement included any increases to the base pay and any structural changes to the salary scheduled itself (adding steps or lanes, for instance). Unfortunately for Iowa teachers, this practice is coming to a screeching halt due to significant changes to our collective bargaining law.

Under the new law teachers can only bargain changes to the base salary they receive. The salary schedule itself is now under the complete control of the school district.

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The good, the bad, and the ugly of Iowa’s new collective bargaining law-Part III

Former teacher and retired associate executive director of the Iowa State Education Association Randy Richardson wraps up his review of teacher contract negotiations under Iowa’s new collective bargaining law. -promoted by desmoinesdem

In the first two parts of this series, we examined how Republicans changed collective bargaining for public employees and the new law’s impact on Iowa teachers.

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The good, the bad, and the ugly of Iowa’s new collective bargaining law

First in a series by Randy Richardson, a former teacher and retired associate executive director of the Iowa State Education Association. He previously discussed the impact of Iowa’s new collective bargaining law on teacher contact negotiations here. -promoted by desmoinesdem

I was asked to write an article about the changes in Iowa’s collective bargaining and how it will impact teachers across the state. As I began to develop my thoughts on this topic, the article got longer and longer, so I decided to break it into three sections.

We’ll start off by looking at what happened when the law changed, then move to its impact on teachers and then take a look into the future.

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Collective bargaining changes bring new challenges and opportunities

Randy Richardson explains how Iowa’s new collective bargaining law is affecting contract negotiations for teachers. -promoted by desmoinesdem

A lot has been written about the changes Republican lawmakers pushed through on collective bargaining for public employees. The original law, adopted during the term of a Republican governor and approved by a bipartisan vote, has been in existence for over forty years. I became a chief negotiator for our local education association during my second year as a teacher (1977) and remained active in bargaining until my retirement in 2016.

As a former teacher I can appreciate the trauma these changes have brought about for educators. Unfortunately the general public, who has likely not participated in the bargaining process, may find some of these changes hard to understand.

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