In November of 2010 as a lame duck legislature was preparing to vote on unseen contracts with state government employee unions, the MacIver Institute issued a plea to the public for help. We asked that anyone with access to details of the agreements, or the actual proposals, send them to us. We vowed to make them public.
“We believe the public should have an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of these agreements before they are voted on by the legislature,” Brett Healy, MacIver Institute’s President said at the time. “We’re asking anyone with access to the various proposed agreements to email them to us so that we can post them online for Wisconsin citizens to see.”
You came through, and we followed through on our promise. Because of that partnership, the deals were no longer secretive, and the general public was better informed.
Today, as Act 10 currently sits in limbo as the result of judicial activism in Dane County, many local governments and school districts are in a rush to extend contract agreements under the old law. In many cases these agreements are being voted on with little advance notice.
We think that’s wrong, and we’re hoping that, together, we can bring some transparency to these efforts.
So, today, we turn to you again. We’re reaching out to the teachers, school board members and school district administrators who have access to material that is not yet public, but should be.
Specifically we’re in search of two types of materials:
1) Information regarding pending labor agreements between school districts and their employee unions
2) Materials pertaining to unions’ membership renewal / automatic dues payment efforts
Send us what you have. After verifying authenticity, we’ll report on these efforts and post the tentative agreements online, again.
Our email address is info@MacIverInstitute.com .
The MacIver Institute is committed to greater transparency within state and local governments in Wisconsin. In the last two years MacIver has disclosed previously-secret agreements on the state budget, filed several open records requests regarding ongoing capital projects like the proposed rail line between Madison and Milwaukee, published the Statements of Economic Interest for all 132 state lawmakers online and launched the most comprehensive public salary transparency website in the state, WIOpenGov.org.
We’ll keep you posted.