Yesterday might have been a stressful day for teachers unions across the state. The Secretary of State certified an initiative that would require school boards to let the public observe collective bargaining negotiations, also known as Prop 104.
To make the ballot, the initiative’s supporters had to turn in 86,100 valid signatures. The Independence Institute turned in 129,850, and a sample test of the signatures projected that the initiative would have had around 94,903 valid signatures, more than enough to place it on the ballot.
Jon Caldara, head of the Independence Institute, offered The Colorado Statesman this rationale for the ballot initiative in June:
“For years we have been working on transparency and trying to make what government does more accessible to taxpayers and to interested parties, and since there are about 11 other states that have these open meetings for negotiations, we decided it’s about time that Colorado do this. If the legislature won’t open up government, then we believe the citizens will.”
Another reason this is necessary is because collective bargaining negotiations would be public if they involved three or more or a quorum of the school board, but often these negotiations are held far from the public’s eye when the negotiations are handled by administrative staff.
We would think that the unions would be all for this type of thing. After all, if the negotiations are fair and reasonable from their end, we would think they’d endorse Prop 104. So, Union Bosses, we’ll be waiting for your press release. Oh, wait. The Colorado Education Association already came out against the initiative?
That’s odd. What wouldn’t they want the public to see?