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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Spokesman-Review Editorial on Disclosure of Public Employee Union Bargaining Documents

"It took Judge Christopher A. Washington only four economical paragraphs to make his point last week when he ruled that the public has a legitimate interest in seeing the written proposals as well as Washington state agencies' notes from collective bargaining sessions with public employee groups. 'These records are of interest to the citizens of the State,' he wrote. Contrary to what several public employee unions had contended, they are not exempt from the state's public records law.

Good thing. When the state Office of Financial Management sits down to negotiate contracts with public employee bargaining units, it is representing the citizens of the state and the negotiators are making decisions about how public dollars will be spent. Taxpaying citizens have every right to know what deals are being reached and why."

How true.

(Full disclosure: Allied Law Group represents the records requestor in this case, the Evergreen Freedom Foundation.)