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K. Negotiations and collective bargaining of public employees

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  • Alaska

    Whether collective bargaining negotiations are a suitable topic for public discussion of the body charged with approving the labor contracts, and even whether negotiations between the employees and representatives of the public employer should be public, are matters of public policy which may change from time to time as various state or local government entities experiment with the best way to handle such questions. There is no state law that generally requires either collective bargaining negotiating sessions or meetings of public bodies relating to collective bargaining to be conducted openly.

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  • Arizona

    (This section is blank. See the subpoints below.)

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  • Arkansas

    (This section is blank. See the subpoints below.)

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  • Connecticut

    (This section is blank. See the subpoints below.)

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  • Delaware

    Any sessions regarding collective bargaining are closed only if an open meeting would have an adverse effect on the bargaining position of the public body. 29 Del. C. § 10004(b)(4).

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  • District of Columbia

    A meeting, or portion of a meeting, may be closed for planning, discussing, or conducting specific collective bargaining negotiations.  D.C. Code Ann. § 2-575(b)(5).

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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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  • Idaho

    Labor negotiations receive special treatment under the Idaho Open Meeting Law. Until July of 2015, either side in labor negotiations could request meetings to be conducted in executive session and, notwithstanding other provisions of the Open Meeting Law dealing with public notice of executive session, any subsequent session of the negotiations could continue to be closed without further public notice. Now, all negotiations between a governing body and a labor organization must be in open session and shall be available for the public to attend. Idaho Code § [74-206A] 67-2345A(1). This requirement also applies to negotiations between the governing body's designated representatives and representatives of the labor organization. Id. This requirement also applies to meetings with any labor negotiation arbitrators, mediators or similar labor dispute meeting facilitators. Id. However, a governing body or its designated representatives may hold an executive session for the specific purpose of:

    (a) Considering a labor contract offer or to formulate a counteroffer; or

    (b) Receiving information about a specific employee, when the information has a direct bearing on the issues being negotiated and a reasonable person would conclude that the release of that information would violate that employee's right to privacy.

    Id.

    In addition, all documentation exchanged between the parties during labor negotiations, including all offers, counteroffers and meeting minutes shall be subject to public writings disclosure laws. Idaho Code § [74-206A] 67-2345A(2).

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  • Illinois

    Closed under 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(2).

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  • Kentucky

    Collective bargaining negotiations may be closed. See Ky. Rev. Stat. 61.810(1)(e).

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  • Louisiana

    A public body may hold an executive session to conduct strategy sessions or negotiations with respect to collective bargaining if an open meeting 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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  • Maryland

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

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  • Michigan

    See generally Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 15.268(c). Strategy and negotiation sessions connected with the negotiation of a collective bargaining agreement' may be closed to the public if either negotiating party requests a closed hearing. See also, Moore v. Fenville Public Schools, 223 Mich. App. 196, 566 N.W. 2d 31 (1997)(“In order to conduct a meaningful strategic session, the public body must be allowed to make determinations concerning its goals and tactics relative to the negotiations. Thus, the OMA must be interpreted so as to allow a public body to make strategic determinations during its closed-door deliberations”).

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  • Montana

    Not a basis for closing a meeting.

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  • Nebraska

    Neb. Rev. Stat. §84-1410(1)(a) allows public body to meet in closed session for "[s]trategy sessions with respect to collective bargaining, real estate purchases, pending litigation, or litigation which is imminent evidenced by communication of a claim or threat of litigation to or by the public body." Id. Negotiation guidance is not considered "formal action" for purposes of Open Meetings Act. Neb. Rev. Stat. §84-1410(2).

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  • New Hampshire

    The Statute excludes from the definition of "meeting," "[s]trategy or negotiations with respect to collective bargaining. RSA 91-A:2,I.

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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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  • North Dakota

    A governing body may hold an executive session to discuss negotiating strategy or provide negotiating instructions to its attorney or other negotiator regarding litigation, adversarial administrative proceedings, or contracts, which are currently being negotiated or for which negotiation is reasonably likely to occur in the immediate future. N.D.C.C. 44-04-19.1(9). The executive session may be held only when an open meeting would have an adverse fiscal effect on the bargaining or litigating position of the public entity. N.D.C.C. 44-04-19.1(9).

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  • Ohio

    A public body may convene an executive session to prepare for, conduct, or review negotiations or bargaining sessions with public employees concerning their compensation or other terms and conditions of their employment. Ohio Rev. Code § 121.22(G)(4).

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  • Oklahoma

    Executive sessions are authorized to discuss negotiations concerning employees and representatives of employee groups. 25 O.S. § 307.B.3. 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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  • Oregon

    Executive sessions may be held to conduct deliberations with persons designated by the governing body to carry on labor negotiations, pursuant to ORS 192.660(2)(d) and ORS 192.660(3).

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  • Rhode Island

    All sessions and work sessions pertaining to collective bargaining are generally excluded by exemption (2).

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  • South Carolina

    Discussion of negotiations incident to a proposed contractual relationship may be had in executive session. S.C. Code Ann. § 30-4-70(a)(1).

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  • Tennessee

    Open, except that strategy sessions of either the union committee or the governmental entity committee, meeting separately, may be closed. T.C.A. § 8-44-201(a) and (b).

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  • Texas

    The Attorney General has held that the internal deliberations of a city’s collective bargaining team in its preliminary discussions with elected city officials are open to the public but sometimes may be closed if counsel participates. See Tex. Att’y Gen. Op. No. H-816 (1976). The Attorney General went on to hold that actual bargaining sessions between the city and a police officer’s association are open to the public. Id. Also, pursuant to Section 551.083, a school board operating under Section 13.901 of the Texas Education Code is not required to open its meetings regarding “the standards, guidelines, terms, or conditions the board will follow, or instruct its representatives to follow, in a consultation with a representative of an employee group.” Tex. Gov’t Code§ 551.083; see also Tex. Educ. Code § 13.901 (repealed by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, § 58(1), eff. May 30, 1995).

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  • Virginia

    A board of supervisors may authorize its employees to meet and bargain with employee groups. Such negotiations are not required to be public. However, those between public employees and the public body are required to be open. 1974-1975 Va. Op. Atty. Gen. 22 (November 19, 1974).  See also Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3701 (The gathering of employees of a public body shall not be deemed a "meeting" subject to provisions of this chapter.)

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  • Washington

    Negotiations and collective bargaining sessions, as well as grievance and contract interpretation meetings are excluded from OPMA. Also, meetings of the governing body itself to consider the strategy or position to be taken by such body during the course of collective bargaining or negotiations are not subject to any provision of the Act. See RCW 42.30.140.

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  • West Virginia

    There is no exemption for collective bargaining negotiations or discussions. [Public employees in West Virginia are not authorized to engage in collective bargaining].

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