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1. Any sessions regarding collective bargaining

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  • Alabama

    Meetings of governmental bodies may be closed to discuss strategy in preparation for negotiations between the governmental body and a group of public employees. Ala. Code § 36-25A-7(a)(8).

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  • Alaska

    There is no law that requires any sessions regarding collective bargaining to be conducted openly. To the contrary, the Open Meetings Act specifically authorizes the consideration in a closed executive session of "matters, the immediate knowledge of which would clearly have an adverse effect upon the finances of the public entity." AS 44.62.310(c)(1). The development of positions and the discussion of how much a public entity is able or willing to put on the table in collective bargaining is a quintessential example of the subjects ordinarily considered to fall within this exception allowing executive sessions.

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  • Arizona

    Negotiations and collective bargaining by at least a quorum of the public body or by a multi-member committee appointed by the public body must comply with the OML.

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  • Arkansas

    If negotiations take place between employee representatives and the staff of a public entity, the FOIA’s open meetings requirement does not apply because a “governing body” is not involved. Ark. Op. Att’y Gen. No. 79-169 (negotiations between school administrators and teacher representatives not subject to FOIA).

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  • California

    Under the Bagley-Keene Act, a state body or boards, commissions, administrative officers, or other representatives may hold a closed session with its representatives for the purpose of discharging its responsibilities under Government Code Sections 3500, 3512, 3525, 3540 (regarding local public employee organizations, excluded employees Bill of Rights, and public educational employment) pertaining to salaries, salary schedules, or compensation paid in the form of fringe benefits. Cal. Gov't Code § 11126(c)(17).
    Under the Brown Act, a legislative body of a local agency may hold a closed session to meet with its designated representative (negotiator) regarding salaries, salary schedules, or compensation paid in the form of fringe benefits of its represented and unrepresented employees, and for represented employees, any other matter within the statutorily provided scope of representation. Cal. Gov't Code § 54957.6(a). However, the body cannot take final action on a proposed compensation of one or more unrepresented employees in a closed session. Cal. Gov't Code § 54957.6(a). Prior to the closed session, the body must identify its designated representatives in an open and public session. Cal. Gov't Code § 54957.6(a).
    During the public meeting in which the closed session is held, the legislative body shall report any action taken in closed session regarding approval of a final labor agreement with represented employees, which has been accepted or ratified by the other party. Cal. Gov't Code § 54957.1(a)(6). The body shall identify the approved item and the parties to the negotiation. Cal. Gov't Code § 54957.1(a)(6).

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  • Colorado

    Sessions regarding collective bargaining strategy, positions, and reports may be held in executive session pursuant to Colo. Rev. Stat. § 24-6-402(3)(a)(V).

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  • Connecticut

    A "meeting" does not include strategy or negotiations with respect to collective bargaining; therefore, these gatherings are excluded from FOIA. Conn. Gen. Stat. §1-200(2). See State Bd. of Labor Relations v. FOIC, 244 Conn. 487, 709 A.2d 1129 (1998) ("the confidentiality requirement of §31-100 exempts grievance arbitration proceedings from the definition of meetings"). See also Waterbury Teachers Ass'n v. FOIC, 240 Conn. 835, 694 A.2d 1241 (1997) (evidentiary portions of grievance hearings were not excluded from the public meeting requirement as "strategy or negotiations with respect to collective bargaining," although portions of the hearing in which the parties discussed remedies and settlements were so excluded); Presnick v. FOIC, 53 Conn. App. 162, 729 A.2d 236 (1999) (a meeting by the town of Orange's board of selectmen regarding an arbitration award involving a proposed teachers' contract was not required to be open to the public, as it was within the meaning of Conn. Gen. Stat. §1-200(2)).

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  • Delaware

    (This section is blank. See the point above.)

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  • District of Columbia

    No case law addresses the scope of the collective-bargaining exemption.  However, the provision is written broadly to encompass both planning for the negotiations and the negotiations themselves.

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  • Georgia

    The Act does not exempt meetings concerning negotiations and collective bargaining of public employees.

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  • Hawaii

    A board may hold a closed meeting to "deliberate concerning the authority of persons designated by the board to conduct labor negotiations . . . or during the conduct of such negotiations." Haw. Rev. Stat. § 92-5(a)(3) (Supp. 1999).

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  • Indiana

    Only sessions in which strategy regarding collective bargaining is discussed may be closed. Ind. Code § 5-14-1.5-6.1(b)(2). But if the adversary is present, an executive session cannot be held. Id. § 5-14-1.5-6.1(b). Accordingly, negotiations attended by a majority of the governing body of the public agency must be conducted in public. See id. Indiana Code Section 5-14-1.5-6.5 provides supplemental provisions regarding meetings between a governing body (or an authorized representative) and an employee organization (or an authorized representative).

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  • Iowa

    Negotiating sessions, strategy meetings, and mediation and deliberation process of arbitrators are closed to the public. Iowa Code § 20.17(3). “The terms of a proposed collective bargaining agreement shall be made available to the public . . . .” Iowa Code § 20.17(4).

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  • Kansas

    Collective bargaining may be discussed in a closed or executive meeting. K.S.A. 75-4319(b)(3)Kan. Att’y Gen. Op. 1992-51.

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  • Kentucky

    "Collective bargaining negotiations between public employers and their employees or their representatives" may be closed. Ky. Rev. Stat. 61.810(1)(e).

    Ky. Rev. Stat. 61.810(e) does not embrace everything tangential to the topic of collective bargaining negotiations. Reports or status briefings on labor negotiations are not intended to be included under that exception. When a public agency is formulating its demands or position preparatory to collective bargaining negotiations, by deliberation or instruction of its advocates, this type of session does fall under Ky. Rev. Stat. 61.810(1)(e). See Jefferson County Bd. of Educ. v. Courier-Journal, 551 S.W.2d 25 (Ky. Ct. App. 1977).

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  • Louisiana

    Only those which would have a detrimental effect on the bargaining position of the public body. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 42:17(A)(2).

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  • Maine

    Closed to the public unless both sides agree otherwise. 1 M.R.S.A. § 405(6)(D).

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  • Maryland

    Meetings to conduct collective bargaining negotiations or to consider matters regarding negotiations may be closed. § 3-305(b)(9).

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  • Massachusetts

    Statute is not specifically limited to collective bargaining with public employees but normally public employers do not bargain with anyone else.

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  • Minnesota

    Under Minn. Stat. § 13D.03, subd. 1(b)., a public employer may hold a closed meeting "to consider strategy for labor negotiations, including negotiation strategies or developments or discussion and review of labor negotiation proposals."

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  • Montana

    Not a basis for closing a meeting.

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  • Nevada

    Closed. NRS 288.020.

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  • New Hampshire

    Yes. See RSA 91-A:2,I.

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  • New Jersey

    All discussion regarding a collective bargaining agreement or terms and conditions proposed for inclusion in an agreement may be held in closed session.  N.J.S.A. 10:4-12(b)(4).

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  • New Mexico

    Both the collective bargaining sessions and meetings to discuss bargaining strategy preliminary to collective bargaining negotiations may be closed.  NMSA 1978 § 10-15-1(H)(5).

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  • North Carolina

    Not applicable. In North Carolina, public employees are prohibited by law from engaging in collective bargaining.

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  • Ohio

    There is no statutory or case law addressing this issue (beyond the above).

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  • Oklahoma

    As to the actual negotiations, if the negotiating entity has actual or de facto decision-making authority on behalf of the public body, then the negotiations must be open to the public. International Ass'n of Firefighters, supra (negotiations between union and city manager not covered under act because city manager lacked authority to bind city commission).

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  • Rhode Island

    Work sessions of a public body to prepare for upcoming collective bargaining negotiations are appropriately closed under exemption 2.  See Op. Att’y Gen., OM 07-02 (Feb. 28, 2007), 2007 WL 1696977.  Where the agenda for a closed work session of a school committee listed “Teacher Contract Negotiations Work Session”, it was not a violation of the OML for the school committee to discuss the financial implications of various provisions that might be included in a new teachers’ union contract.  Although the agenda didn’t specify that financial implications of various contract provisions might be discussed, because it would nearly impossible to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement with another party without first determining the financial parameters within which any discussion could take place.  Id.

    The Attorney General has determined that meetings of a school committee's budget committee do not fall under the collective bargaining exemption because the budget committee has no role in, nor is a party to, later negotiations.  See Op. Att’y Gen. No. 95-07 (May 30, 1995), 1995 WL 370309.

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  • South Carolina

    There is no specific reference to collective bargaining in the act.

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  • South Dakota

    Closed. SDCL §1-25-2(4).

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  • Tennessee

    Open, except strategy sessions.

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  • Utah

    Strategy sessions concerning collective bargaining are exempt from the Open Meetings Act. Utah Code § 52-4-205(1)(b). Given the specific exemption for “strategy sessions” set forth in the Open Meetings Act, it appears that all other elements of the negotiations and collective bargaining are subject to the open meetings requirement.

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  • Vermont

    Open unless the public body finds that premature public knowledge would clearly place the public body at a substantial disadvantage. 1 V.S.A. §§ 313(a)(1)(A)-(B) (providing that a public body may hold an executive session at a meeting covered by the Open Meeting Law to consider “contracts” and “labor relations agreements with employees,” but only after “making a specific finding that premature general public knowledge [of the matter] would clearly place the public body or a person involved at a substantial disadvantage”).

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  • West Virginia

    (This section is blank. See the point above.)

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  • Wyoming

    A governing body of an agency may hold closed executive sessions to consider accepting or tendering offers concerning wages, salaries, benefits and terms of employment during all negotiations. The statute otherwise does not directly address collective bargaining. Wyo. Stat. § 16-4-405(a)(x) (1977, Rev. 1982).

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