The Las Vegas Sun reported last week that “Gov. Brian Sandoval will not back a bill to eliminate collective bargaining in local government.” Which is fine for now. Rome wasn’t built in a day. However, there IS a serious collective bargaining reform that legislators should approve this session.
Here’s how collective bargaining for government employees generally works. Union negotiators and government negotiators lock themselves behind closed doors and hash out an agreement. However, once they come to an agreement, the union employees who will get the taxpayer-funded salaries and bennies get to vote up-or-down on the agreement hammered out by their negotiators.
So it’s only right that taxpayers, who will be on the hook to pay for whatever the negotiators have agreed to, should similarly get a chance to vote up-or-down on the agreement too, right?
And if taxpayers get to vote on these agreements, taxpayers will be far more likely to know exactly what’s in them….and I suspect, considering the higher-than-private-sector salaries and Cadillac benefits our “public servants” have been getting in recent years, they won’t be too happy and could well reject overly-generous agreements that elected officials, worried about ticking off the unions before re-election, have been rubber-stamping.
If the employees get to vote on the contracts, the employers (taxpayers) should get to vote on the contracts. What’s good for the goose and all that. So let it be written; so let it be done.