More than a thousand rally against collective bargaining proposals

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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- More than a thousand teachers and supporters rallied in Des Moines on Sunday against new GOP-backed collective bargaining proposals.

More than a thousand people gathered at the Iowa State Capitol on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, to protest the collective bargaining proposals. (WOI-TV)

They gathered outside the state capitol to voice opposition to the legislation being considered by the legislature.

The bills would keep unions from bargaining on certain things like health benefits and vacation time. The bills also allow employers to fire public workers without proper cause.

The protesters say the legislation will have a negative effect on teachers statewide.

"They're trying to ram through changes in Chapter 20 that would be very detrimental for school teachers and all other public employees in our state. We just want them to slow the process down and be fair about it, and give people more time for input," said Claire Celsi, who helped organize the rally.

"This is an attack on all Iowans," said Tammy Wawro, who is the president of the Iowa State Education Association.

Some teachers were also protesting the 1.1 percent increase to state education funding, which they say is inadequate.