Lift shroud of secrecy from employment contract talks

Imagine that the governor is holding a series of secret closed-door negotiations with a company that could result in hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer expenses. Now imagine that the same company secretly meeting with the governor is also a campaign contributor. Also imagine that the Legislature is barred from changing the details of an agreement negotiated in secret with the governor and can only vote up or down on funding the final proposal.

Sounds outrageous? You bet! Yet that is exactly what happens each time state and local officials in Washington negotiate pay and benefits with public-employee unions. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Several states ensure that the public is not shut out of the collective-bargaining process with government unions. Some states open the entire negotiation process to the public, while others include an exemption when government officials are strategizing among themselves. Once public officials meet with union negotiators, however, the public is allowed to monitor the process. Continue>>>