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TriMet asks if contract negotiations public


Request filed with Multnomah County court Friday

TriMet filed a motion in the Multnomah County Circuit Court on Friday to determine whether its labor negotiations are open to the public.

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757, the union representing most TriMet employees, is refusing to attend the current contact sessions, claiming TriMet won't open them to the public as required by the Oregon Public Meetings Law.

TriMet says the law does not applies to contract negotiations and filed request to resolve the issue in Multnomah County Circuit Court on Friday to resolve the question.

The filing seeks a declaratory judgement to declare that contact negotiating sessions are not open to the public unless conducted by governing bodies. The current negotiations are being conducted by representatives of TriMet and ATU 757.

The last three-year contact between TriMet and ATU 757 expired in 2009. After negotiations stalled, a starte arbitrator ruled that TriMet's last proposed contact was the binding agreement. It expired on Nov. 30, 2012. The current contact stays in effect until a new one is negotiated and approved.