ESB 5854

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

As Passed Senate, March 11, 2015

Title: An act relating to digital copies of public employees' collective bargaining agreements.

Brief Description: Requiring public employers to submit digital copies of collective bargaining agreements to the public employment relations commission.

Sponsors: Senators Braun, Baumgartner and Dammeier.

Brief History:

Committee Activity: Commerce & Labor: 2/18/15 [DP, DNP, w/oRec].

Passed Senate: 3/11/15, 30-19.


Majority Report: Do pass.

Signed by Senators Baumgartner, Chair; Braun, Vice Chair; King and Warnick.

Minority Report: Do not pass.

Signed by Senators Hasegawa, Ranking Minority Member; Conway.

Minority Report: That it be referred without recommendation.

Signed by Senator Keiser.

Staff: Mac Nicholson (786-7445)

Background: Public employees have the right to organize and to designate a representative for collective bargaining. The employer and the bargaining representative must meet at reasonable times to bargain in good faith in an effort to reach agreement with respect to wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment.

Summary of Engrossed Bill: Public employers must submit digital copies of their collective bargaining agreements to the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) within 30 days of the effective date of the agreement.

PERC must maintain a website that allows the public to view and download collective bargaining agreements. The agreements must be available in a uniform digital format and must be available on the website for up to ten years following the expiration of the agreement.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Committee/Commission/Task Force Created: No.

Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony: PRO: This bill is a simple bill that would require the unions to provide copies of the agreements to PERC. Taxpayers should have easy access to these agreements. The bill is simply about transparency in government. It makes sense to have all agreements on one website so individuals don’t need to visit hundreds of websites to access the agreements.

CON: This bill is an unnecessary regulation. Collective bargaining agreements are already posted on county and city public websites. The unions don’t control the final document, it’s the employers who have final control and should be the ones required to submit the agreements to PERC.

Persons Testifying: PRO: Deb Merle, WA State School Directors' Assn.; Rowland Thompson, Allied Daily Newspapers of WA.

CON: Joe Kendo, WA State Labor Council; J Pat Thompson, County and City Employees.