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Friday, April 15, 2016

New Law Brings Sunlight to Collective Bargaining Contracts

Independent Fiscal Office to analyze contract costs and budget impacts

HARRISBURG – Shedding light on backroom contract deals, a new Pennsylvania’s law requires the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) to provide cost analysis of every proposed collective bargaining agreement under the governor’s jurisdiction, prior to the agreement taking effect, House Majority Leader, Rep. Dave Reed (R-Indiana) said today. Senate Bill 644 was signed into law this week by Gov. Tom Wolf as Act 15 of 2016.

“What are the costs involved with labor agreements? I applaud the governor for signing the contract transparency bill to ensure there are no hidden costs to taxpayers,” Reed said. “In the private sector, contract negotiations are understandably done in secret. But when taxpayers are footing the bill, there needs to be some openness and the ability to assess the budget impact.”

To ensure the IFO has the needed information, the new law also requires the governor’s Office of Administration and the Office of the Budget to provide the IFO with copies of proposed public employee collective bargaining agreements with its own cost analysis of the agreement 20 business days prior to the execution date of the agreement.

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