A year ago, I published a post advocating the Anaheim City Council adopt something similar to Costa Mesa’s COIN (Civic Openness in Negotiations Ordinance) ordinance.  Tomorrow night, the Fullerton City Council will begin discussing whether or not to adopt its own version of COIN.

This is a discussion the Anaheim City Council should consider having, as well.

The staff report for the Fullerton council provides a good run-down of what Costa Mesa’s COIN ordinance entails:

  • The city must hire an independent negotiator who is not an employee of the city and is not a member of any retirement system providing a defined benefit to the member, and has demonstrated expertise in negotiating labor and employment agreements on behalf of municipalities. Executive employees will be appointed to assist with the negotiation process.
  • Before contract talks with an employee association begin, an independent economic analysis must be done on the fiscal impacts of each contract term and the results of that analysis must be made public 30 days prior to negotiations.
  • The economic analysis is to be regularly updated by the independent auditor to itemize the costs and the funded and unfunded actuarial liability which would or may result from adoption or acceptance of each meet and confer proposal by either an employee association or the city.
  • Each council member must disclose if he or she had any communications about the negotiations with representatives of the employee association.
  • As negotiations begin, the City Council must report publicly after closed sessions any prior offers and counter offers and their fiscal impact to the taxpayer.
  • Any meet-and-confer-related bargaining positions received or made by either side that are no longer being considered must be disclosed.
  • Before the City Council can vote on an employee contract, it must be discussed at a minimum of two City Council meetings and the proposal posted on the city’s website at least seven days prior to the first meeting.

Adopting all or parts of the COIN ordinance would beneficial for the city and taxpayers. The city has begun negotiations with some Anaheim Municipal Employee Associations units. perhaps that would be a good testing ground for adopting the COIN ordinance on a pilot basis.