Local Highlights and Events
Chapter 20 Statement
Sept 27, 2021
** Dear Members and Fellow Travelers,
Tonight AAUP and COGS sent the statement below to the UI President and her cabinet, along with selected media outlets. If you feel so moved please send her a followup email expressing your support for our position.
Moving forward, please keep in mind that, while we are confident in our interpretation of Chapter 20, we are not confident that University leadership will agree with us, and we cannot protect anyone from disciplinary action should they choose to require masks in their classroom.
Dear President Wilson,
We write to express our concern that the University is in violation of Iowa Code Chapter 20, section 8, subsection 4, which gives public employees the right to “engage in concerted activities for the purpose of…mutual aid or protection insofar as any such activity is not prohibited by this chapter or any other law of the state.”
We have consulted a lawyer, who advises us that faculty, graduate instructors, and staff are public employees who have rights under Chapter 20, specifically the right to engage in concerted activities for mutual aid or protection in their primary workspaces, the classroom and personal office, insofar as the activities do not violate some other law of Iowa.
Accordingly, we believe that faculty, graduate instructors, and staff have the right to require masking in their classrooms and personal offices for the purpose of mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and protecting our colleagues and coworkers represented by AAUP and COGS.
We intend to inform our membership that they have this right, and we hold that the University’s refusal to recognize this right puts it at legal risk.
We therefore ask that you consult legal counsel and explain why the university has put into place measures that violate public employee rights under Iowa Code Chapter 20.
President, UI AAUP