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Published on Friday, September 19, 2014

Labor Related Initiatives Proposed in Shelton, Sequim, and Chelan

Two petitions dealing with collective bargaining transparency were proposed in three of Washington’s cities. The petitions, while submitted by area residents, appeared to be backed by the Olympia-based Freedom Foundation. The first proposition is titled Collective Bargaining Transparency Act. It requires the city to notify employees of the bargaining unit and the public prior to meetings between the city and the bargaining unit. It also requires all collective bargaining meetings to be open to the public.

The second is titled Collective Bargaining Protections Act. This provides collective bargaining protections by prohibiting the inclusion of a union security clause, prohibits gifting of public funds for the benefit of city unions, and prohibits public work stoppages.

Some legal experts say the propositions are not proper subjects for local initiatives and conflict with existing state law. The city councils in Shelton and Sequim Councils rejected the propositions after advice from the cities’ respective legal counsels. Chelan’s council is expected to make a decision in the next few weeks. Sequim is already facing a legal challenge over the proposals. AWC will continue to track this issue, and share information as these propositions may spread to other jurisdictions.

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