WPC agrees with union speaker; "trust us" shouldn't be standard for negotiations

July 28, 2014

Last week the Washington State Labor Council held its 2014 Constitutional Convention meeting. Among the speakers was Gillian Locascio of the Washington Fair Trade Coalition. Although she was speaking about the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, her concerns and criticism of how those negotiations were occurring are 100% aligned with our concerns about public union contract negotiations.

Here is video of Locascio's remarks.

Of note she complains about the:

  • secrecy of the negotiations;

  • the lack of legislative oversight;

  • the executive signing the agreement before legislative approval;

  • limited legislative debate;

  • the prohibition on legislative amendments; and

  • only having an up or down legislative vote. 

These are exactly the same concerns we have with how public union negotiations occur in Washington.

As noted by The Olympian today, compensation focused negotiations will hit full stride (behind closed doors) next week:

WFSE is the largest union representing state workers, and its general-government agency negotiators started meeting with Inslee’s team a couple of months ago on non-compensation issues, although the focus may shift when those talks with Inslee’s labor team resume Aug. 6-7.

State/local employment contracts should not be negotiated in secret. Taxpayers are ultimately responsible for funding these agreements. They should be allowed to monitor the negotiation process and to hold government officials accountable for their actions. Open meetings will also quickly identify if one side is being unreasonable in negotiations to help the public determine who is acting in good or bad faith.

Additional Information
WFSE says state compensation contract offer is "totally unacceptable"