Save Our Labor Center public hearing in Burlington

Elected officials and local leaders will convene Thursday night to gather public input from southeast Iowa residents about the University of Iowa?s controversial recent announcement of its intent to defund the University?s 67-year-old Labor Center.

The Public Hearing on the future of the University of Iowa Labor Center and its impact in southeast Iowa will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 30, at 1205 N. Central Ave., Burlington (IBEW 13 hall).

Workers, community members, students, alumni and concerned members of the public will testify before a panel of elected officials, labor, faith, and community leaders.

Leaders on hand to take input will include: State Representative Dennis Cohoon, State Representative Jerry Kearns, Des Moines-Henry County Labor Alliance President Ryan Drew, Lee County Labor Chapter President Penny Logsdon, Burlington School Board Member Tom Courtney and Iowans for Public Education-Burlington Chapter Chair Laura Blanchard, along with UI Labor Center Director Jennifer Sherer.

Save Our Labor Center coalition members planned the hearing after learning UI leaders had taken no input from any of the UI faculty, students, workers, or community members whose research, teaching, workplaces, and communities are directly affected by the Center. The Burlington event is the fifth in a series of statewide hearings to assess the Center?s impact and give input on its future. All hearings are open to the public, and members of the Iowa Board of Regents have been invited to attend.

The UI Labor Center, currently housed in the UI College of Law, is the sole entity in the UI Regents system devoted to education and research for and about Iowa workers. On average, over 2,000 workers from 70 different Iowa counties attend the Center?s continuing education classes each year.

Updates on hearing schedules and outcomes will appear on