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Published on Friday, February 3, 2017

Bill would require public employee collective bargaining sessions to be open, public meetings

SB 5545, Sen. Lynda Wilson (R-Vancouver), would amend the Open Public Meetings Act by removing the exemption provided for collective bargaining sessions related to contract negotiations with unions. The bill would add language requiring that contract negotiations be open to the public but does not require public comment. The bill would allow public employers to provide a video of the negotiations to the public within twenty-four hours instead of firsthand observation by the public.

AWC has opposed previous proposals that open bargaining sessions. Recently, two counties and a school district in our state have opted to open their bargaining sessions to the public.

The bill is set for a hearing in the Senate Commerce, Labor & Sports Committee on February 6 at 1:30 pm.