22nd 2012
Dougco Board and HB 1118: Tuesday’s Colorado Open Union Negotiations Two-Fer

Posted under Independence Institute & School Board & School Finance & State Legislature & Suburban Schools & Teachers

Timing is everything, they say. What were the odds that these two key votes would go down the same day? The dual development certainly is noteworthy.

On Tuesday the Colorado House of Representatives adopted House Bill 1118, which simply requires school districts to open up union negotiations to public observation so taxpayers and teachers can see dollars and interests negotiated in good faith. The vote was 33 to 31, with one member absent. All other Democrats but one voted No. All Republicans but one voted Yes.

Later that night the Douglas County Board of Education unanimously voted to approve a resolution that the district’s union negotiations be held in public view. Last month the grassroots group Parent Led Reform, led by local mom Karin Piper, proposed the issue before the Board.

Two weeks later the local union (Douglas County Federation) joined the request. My Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow raised the question of how serious the union’s support of open negotiations is, but given their apparent silence at Tuesday’s board meeting, we still have to wait and see what the answer is.

We also have to wait and see what the fate of HB 1118 will be in the state senate. As DeGrow explained in his 2010 issue backgrounder “Colorado Education and Open Negotiations,” a very similar bill nearly passed the state legislature in 2004. Hopefully not charting a path for its 2012 successor,

The legislation narrowly passed the lower chamber before succumbing to defeat on the senate floor.

In any case, Tuesday’s twin votes for transparency demonstrate that the old school district open union negotiations momentum is alive and going strong. If Douglas County goes a step beyond Colorado Springs 11 and demonstrates how a completely transparent bargaining process can be done well, the only thing left to wonder is where in Colorado (or beyond) will that momentum carry it next?


5 Responses to “Dougco Board and HB 1118: Tuesday’s Colorado Open Union Negotiations Two-Fer”

  1. Lou Schroeder on 10 Apr 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    Kudos to the Douglas County Board of Education and their honest, open way of wanting to do business in a transparent manner.

    It is MY MONEY those educrats & teachers are spending.
    I know how to spend it better than they do; as proof, they don’t even want me to know what they do with MY MONEY because they couldn’t defend it & convince me of the propriety of their actions.

    My sad disappointment in the State Senate “deep sixing” the bill is because it demonstrates the Dems to be the toadies of the elitist establishment educrats & techers’ unions.
    They know how to do it better than the public does, but they lack the cajones to show us just how good they are!

    If legal, I hope & pray my Arapahoe County Board of Commissioners and/or Cherry Creek School Board opt for 100% transparency of any & all financial dealings @ all times as a show of their good faith and confidence in their doing right as far as their constituents are concerned.

    A fie on the Colo Sen Dems!

    God Save Colorado!

    -Lou Schroeder

  2. Ed is Watching » Dougco Board Proposes Teacher Raises, Performance Pay, & Ending Union Privileges on 10 Apr 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    [...] I write a lot about Douglas County here, and with good reason. The school board there has charted a bold course. Hey, it wasn’t much more than a year ago that they voted to establish the first locally-created private school choice program in the nation. More recently, they demonstrated their commitment to transparency by voting to open union negotiations to public view. [...]

  3. Ed is Watching » From Schoolhouse Bullying to Union Bullying: Adams 12 Taxpayer Speaks Out on 19 Sep 2012 at 4:23 pm #

    [...] Now he and other district residents have begun pushing for district-union negotiations to be open and transparent, so taxpayers and teachers can see what’s being negotiated, to be informed and act [...]

  4. Ed is Watching » Transparency in DougCo School District: Toward a Happy Ending to the Story on 18 Mar 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    [...] look on. They showed that honest discussions about important but sometimes controversial policies can be held in the light of day without causing any harm or great expense. Sunshine Review didn’t seem to take that much into [...]

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