Key Award Recognizes Freedom Forum.

Key Award Recognizes Freedom Forum

WCOG recently presented a Key Award to Matthew Hayward, a state coordinator with the Freedom Foundation, for his efforts encouraging the Lincoln County Commissioners to unanimously decide to require open access to collective bargaining negotiations involving the county.

Toby Nixon and Matthew Hayward

The three-member commission was also recognized with a Key Award last fall for its September 2016 decision to conduct collective bargaining negotiations under the terms of the state Open Public Meetings Act, allowing access by the public and, by extension, employees other than the negotiators.

Hayward said he had urged Lincoln County government officials to embrace a policy of openness for public negotiations because of the inherent interest of taxpayers. He is also working with officials in other Washington counties to follow Lincoln County’s example. “We hope there will be many more who adopt this practice,” he said.

In fact, the topic is under discussion in other forums. The Washington state Senate Commerce and Labor Committee met for a work session in August to discuss issues involved in “public transparency in collective bargaining negotiations.” Among the participants at the meeting as advocates of access to public agency negotiations were Maxford Nelsen, director of labor policy for the Freedom Foundation, and Toby Nixon, representing WCOG.

Return to the September 2017 Newsletter