UE Local 896-COGS,
by Caleb Klipowicz and Glenn Houlihan
November 5, 2022
On October 25, 2022, UE Local 896-COGS, which represents almost 2,000 graduate employees at the University of Iowa, won a recertification election for the third time in six years, with the support of nearly 70 percent of the bargaining unit.
Due to a union-busting law passed in 2017, all public-sector union workers in Iowa must vote to recertify their union by a margin of 50 percent plus 1 before every round of contract negotiations. Recertification elections are held at the union's expense. Crucially, this anti-worker legislation favors the boss by counting people who do not vote in the election as a “no” against the union. This insidious tactic hinges on worker apathy towards unions, so we needed to inform every member of our bargaining unit that the election was happening and that they needed to vote YES to recertify COGS. But reaching all 1,934 eligible workers was no easy task!