The Transparency and Accountability for Public Employee Bargaining Act

Summary

This Act requires that once a public employer and employee have reached a collective bargaining agreement, the public employer shall post the agreement online for 14 days and hold a public hearing before a collective bargaining agreement can be ratified.

Note: This policy solution is only intended for states where the entire public-sector collective bargaining process is not open to the public. It is also not an endorsement of public sector binding, interest or other compulsory arbitration with regard to collective bargaining agreements. Decisions affecting collective bargaining contracts between public employers and public employees should be made by elected officials accountable to taxpayers and voters.

Model Policy

{Title, enacting clause, etc.}

Section 1. {Definitions}

(A) “Employee” means any individual employed by a public employer.

(B) “Public employer” means any state or local government, government agency, government instrumentality, special district, joint powers authority, school board, or special purpose organization that employs one or more persons in any capacity.

(C) “Arbitrator” means any arbitrator or arbitration panel with the authority to impose wages, benefits, or other terms and conditions of employment as a means of resolving a collective bargaining impasse.

(D) “Collective bargaining” means the performance of the mutual obligation of the representatives of the public employer and the labor organization designated as an exclusive bargaining representative to meet and bargain in good faith in an effort to reach written agreement with respect to wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment.

Section 2. {Legislative Declarations} The legislature finds and declares that:

(A) Labor negotiations between government and government employees are a valid area of taxpayer concern;

(B) Since those negotiations deal with the public employer and public employees, taxpayers have a vested interest in the proceedings;

(C) Taxpayers deserve to observe, monitor, and even participate in the processes by which public contracts are negotiated and awarded;

(D) All levels of government should conduct deliberations openly and take actions openly.

(E) Increased transparency in labor negotiation meetings, arbitration proceedings, and documents serves to provide all parties to the negotiations with an incentive to avoid any hint of corruption;

(F) Increased public oversight will help ensure that government is using taxpayer money effectively.

Section 3. {Open Documents}

(A) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, once an agreement is reached between representatives of the employees and the public employer, or a decision is reached by an arbitrator, concerning the terms of a collective bargaining agreement, that agreement or decision shall be reduced to writing and published on the website of the public employer or published by another method and made available to the public if there is no Internet website;

(B) The public employer or arbitrator may not ratify the agreement, or finalize the decision, until the agreement or decision has been published and available to the public for at least 14 days.

Section 4. {Open Meetings}

(A) Not less than 14 days after publication of the agreement or decision pursuant to Section 3 of this Act, the employer or arbitrator shall hold an open public meeting on ratification of the agreement or finalization of the decision.

(B) No agreement or decision concerning the terms of a collective bargaining agreement shall be ratified by the parties or finalized by the arbitrator until after the public employer publishes the agreement or decision on its website and holds an open public meeting on ratification of the agreement or finalization  of the decision as required under this Act.

(C) Upon ratification by both parties, the agreement shall be signed by the parties or upon finalization by the arbitrator the decision will be binding.

Section 5. {Effective Date}

Section 6. {Severability Clause}

Section 7. {Repealer Clause}

 

 Approved by the ALEC Board of Directors, August 3, 2013.

Keyword Tags: Commerce Insurance and Economic Development Task Force, Worker Freedom, Workers' Rights