For Immediate Release, December 16, 2013 Contact: Thomas Vineyard 314-514-0900 Monarch Fire Protection District Holds Open Contract Negotiations In a historic step toward transparency, The Board of Director’s hold open Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) negotiations for all taxpayers to witness. Chesterfield, MO – December 16, 2013 – The Monarch Fire Protection District Board of Directors have just completed their third month and sixth meeting in historic open, public Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations with representatives of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 2665 union despite strong protests against the transparency from union leaders The reason this process is historic is because open union negotiations have never been done at the Fire District and Monarch officials are unaware of any union contract negotiations anywhere being open to the public. “We have even heard from residents of neighboring taxing districts who are making inquiries about the process and are demanding their local government does the same” commented Monarch Board President Robin Harris. Former Senator and Monarch Director Jane Cunningham stated, “Even though Collective Bargaining negotiations between public boards and the union have always been behind closed doors, we believe taxpayers should have the right to witness the give – and – take on how their money is being spent and should have all the proposed documents available to them.” “It’s your money!” She emphasized. Harris noted, “We were surprised and pleased to note that not only do residents want to observe the process; many union members are attending to see what their union leaders are doing during the negotiations. The union negotiators vehemently objected to the open sessions, as it appears they wanted to keep the process closed to their own members and not just the residents. This certainly validates the Board’s decision to hold negotiations in an open setting.” Anyone interested in these negotiations are invited to visit the Fire District’s website at where they can see side by side comparisons of what the current Monarch Board and Union Collective Bargaining Agreement proposals spell out in pay, benefits and working conditions as well as when upcoming open Labor Agreement workshops are scheduled. The Monarch Board welcomes residents, union members and the press to observe this historic (and expensive) statutorily required process. ###