GO Item 1
Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee
Robert H. Drummer, Senior Legislative
Bi1119-11, Personnel- Collective Bargaining - Public Access
Bill 19-11, Personnel - Collective Bargaining Public Access, sponsored by the Council
President on recommendation of the Organizational Reform Commission, was introduced on
June 14,2011. A public hearing was held on July 12.
Bill 19-11 would require the Council to hold a public hearing on each collective
bargaining agreement submitted to it, change certain dates in the collective bargaining process,
and require public disclosure of each party's initial bargaining position on major economic
provisions. The Council delayed introducing this Bill until after finalizing the FY12 Budget
because these process changes, if enacted, could not take effect until collective bargaining for
FY13 begins in the fall.
In its report to the Council dated January 31, 2011, the Organizational Reform
Commission (ORC), in
recommended amending the County collective
bargaining laws to require the Council to hold a public hearing on each collective bargaining
agreement submitted to it, change certain dates, and require public disclosure of each party's
initial bargaining position on major economic provisions.
The full text of the recommendation is below.
Public Accountability in Collective Bargaining
Collective bargaining sessions with County government employee unions are held in meetings
closed to the public. The proposals and counter-proposals made by each side are never made
public. If the parties reach impasse and invoke interest arbitration, the evidentiary hearing
conducted by the arbitrator must be closed to the public. The terms of a negotiated agreement or
an arbitrator's award are not made public until they are sent to the Council for approval. The
intent of this confidentiality is to encourage the parties to speak freely without fear of their
statements being used against them. Attendance at negotiating sessions by members of the
public and the news media could inhibit the free and open discussion necessary to resolve .
. disputes. However, open meetings could also inhibit the parties from making unrealistic
demands and statements.