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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 27, 2017 04:09 PM
From: Senator Ryan P. Aument and Sen. Scott Martin
To: All Senate members
Subject: Transparency in Collective Bargaining
In the near future, we plan to introduce two proposals intended to further promote transparency in the collective bargaining process.

As legislators who firmly believe that secrecy breeds distrust and transparency is the cornerstone of good government, we believe taxpayers deserve to know and understand the deals that are being made when elected officials negotiate a collective bargaining agreement that will be paid for with their tax dollars.

As we all know, contract negotiations significantly impact the size and expense of government and the services that constituents receive. Unsurprisingly, secret negotiations bring a cloud of doubt and can lead to abuse. We believe increased transparency will not only make public officials more accountable to the citizens they represent but also make union representatives more accountable to their members.

The fact that many of these negotiations result in an increase in taxes is enough reason to provide additional transparency to taxpayers. But many times these negotiations result in strikes, disrupting the lives of children, parents, and all those held hostage while a deal is struck.

Our proposals would bring openness and transparency to state and local decision making by allowing public access to collective bargaining negotiations. As of 2015, a dozen states require full or limited access to collective bargaining sessions of public employees.

Please join us in bringing much needed reform to a process that certainly impacts all Pennsylvanians.

Document #1

Introduced as SB503

Description: Prime Sponsor: Senator Ryan Aument
This bill would remove the exemption of collective bargaining from the Sunshine Act.  This bill was previously introduced as Senate Bill 643 of the 2015-2016 session and was co-sponsored by: Corman, Scarnati, Alloway, Folmer, Smucker, Rafferty, Bartolotta, Stefano, Vance, White, Ward, and Wagner.

Document #2

Introduced as SB504

Description: Prime Sponsor: Senator Scott Martin
This bill would remove the exemption of collective bargaining from the Right To Know Law.