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Public Access to Employee Bargaining Negotiations

During the June 11, 2014, Rules and Open Government Committee meeting there was discussion surrounding a potential ballot measure for the November 2014 election which would mandate that labor negotiations be open to the public.  At that time City Council had not yet decided whether or not to pursue a ballot measure and because this would be subject to meet and confer, directed this to be discussed in closed session with the City Council.  At the August 5, 2014, City Council meeting, the Council decided to not go forward with the November 2014 ballot measure and directed staff to continue to meet and confer with the bargaining units regarding open labor negotiations and report back to the City Council.  

Transparency in Labor Negotiations

The City has made significant efforts to provide an unprecedented amount of labor relations information to the public.  This includes information prior to the initiation of negotiations, negotiations in progress, and total compensation costs for City employees.   In addition, during labor negotiations all proposals made by the City and each bargaining unit are posted on the City’s website after they are exchanged.  This is in accordance with Council Policy 0-39, Council Labor Negotiations and Transparency Guidelines which states that “written proposals made or received shall be posted for public review on the City’s web site after the proposals have been submitted to the designated negotiators.”  If a Tentative Agreement is reached with a bargaining unit, the entire Tentative Agreement is made available to the public before the City Council takes action to approve it.  

Draft Ballot Language for Public Labor Negotiations