Q&A: Teacher union labor agreement

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From the Chronicle-Tribune (Marion):

Q: Our local public school board and the Marion Teachers Association have reached a tentative labor agreement. The school board will vote at a later date. Are we entitled under state law to examine the contract ahead of the board vote?

A: Since the school board can meet in executive session to discuss strategy concerning collective bargaining under the Open Door Law, and since records prepared for an executive session can be kept confidential under the Access to Public Records Act, I think the school board can fairly argue that the contract document may be kept confidential until it’s presented to the school board for a vote.

Of course, there’s nothing to prevent either the school board or teachers union from making the document available for inspection and copying at any time prior. The confidentiality is at their discretion, not mandated.

Contact Steve Key, HSPA executive director and general counsel, with media law questions at skey@hspa.com or (317) 624-4427.

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