UI USG passes resolution supporting SEIU Union 199

The UI Undergraduate Student Government passed a resolution of support to the Service Employees International Union 199 Local of Minnesota and Iowa, which represents health care workers at the UI Hospitals and Clinics.


Alex Snyder

Senators listen to a speaker during a USG meeting at the Iowa Memorial Union on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023.

Archie Wagner, News Reporter

The University of Iowa Undergraduate Student Government passed a resolution to support the UI Hospital and Clinics health care professionals union at its Tuesday meeting following discrepancies between the union and the state Board of Regents earlier this month. 

The union represents health care workers at the UIHC in addition to other facilities in Iowa. 

The union initially started contract negotiations with the regents on Jan. 18. The union asked for a 14 percent raise, then 10 percent raise, followed by an 8 percent raise, but received neither. The regents finally offered a 1.5 to 3 percent raise.

The regents “declared an impasse” on Feb. 5 that left health care workers frustrated and decided to picket outside of the hospital in response.

Sen. Will Fairman highlighted the rising inflation rates in the U.S. when introducing the legislation, noting how inflation affects UI health care workers’ paychecks. 

“The Board of Regents countered with a much lower offer. There were negotiations for a short time and the board reached their impasse and basically just called off negotiations for now,” Sen. Fairman said.

The union then looked to the Public Employee Employment Relations Board with the rationale that the regents cannot refuse to negotiate in good faith, Sen. Fairman said. 

RELATED: State Board of Regents cancel contract negotiation meetings with UIHC health care professionals union

Sen. Jake Wicks followed Sen. Fairman’s introduction with a clarification that this resolution is purely USG’s statement and is not reflective of the union’s position given the current status of the negotiations. 

“We understand that the Board of Regents are constrained, but we think that things can be done better to support healthcare workers that really contribute a lot to specifically the university and the state in general,” Sen. Wicks said. 

Editor’s Note: Jake Wicks previously worked as a photojournalist for The Daily Iowan.