Public Prerogatives Act


Union contracts often constrain public agencies from obtaining or producing public services for the lowest cost. In the competitive private sector, the cost of contract provisions that limit contracting or the ability of management to assign work and employees efficiently may be avoided by buyers. However, taxpayers are compelled to bear the costs of restrictive contract provisions in the public sector. It should not be possible for a public agency to abdicate its duty to obtain public services for the lowest cost possible. This Act would forbid public agencies from bargaining over matters of inherent public prerogative. (Public prerogative has also been called “management rights” legislation.)

Public Prerogatives Act

Model Policy

Section 1. {Short Title}

This act may be cited as the Public Prerogatives Act

Section 2. {Legislative Declarations}

(A) The cost of providing government services is increasing nationwide, leading to budget deficits, increased taxes, and lower levels of economic growth. Much of these costs are attributed to the costs of collective labor agreements and uncompetitive services arrangements.

(B) While citizens bear increased taxes, they express a growing dissatisfaction with the quality of government services. Lawmakers should explore policies that ensure that citizens receive a higher quality of vital public services at reduced costs.

(C) Many governments have greatly reduced costs and improved services through public-private partnerships and completive contracting.

(D) Lawmakers should maintain the prerogative to negotiate competitive arrangement s to ensure that citizens receive improved quality of services at the lowest cost possible to taxpayers and the economy.

Section 3. {Definitions.}

(A) “Pre-hire agreement” means any bid requirements relating to representation, working conditions, compensation, or benefits.

(B) Political jurisdiction means any of the following: the state, a county, a city, a school district, or a public agency, including organization owned by any public agency.

(C) Inherent public prerogative means the authority of a political jurisdiction to determine whether public service are produced by its own employees or other wise delivered, leased, contracted for, or purchased through a competitive process on either a temporary or permanent basis.

Section 4. {Limitation on.}

(A) A political jurisdiction shall not have the authority to bargain collectively with regard to any matter of inherent public prerogative and shall have no authority to execute or renew any collective bargaining agreement that contains any provision with regard to any matter to inherent public prerogative.

(B) A political jurisdiction shall not have the authority to enter into a pre-hire agreement. This prohibition shall extend to all agents and contractors of a political jurisdiction with respect to actives performed on behalf of a political jurisdiction.

(C) No arbitrator or arbitration panel have the authority to impose any labor contract provision or any other order concerning any matter of inherent public prerogative.

Section 5. {Severability clause.}

Section 6. {Repealer clause.}

Section 7. {Effective date.}


Reapproved by ALEC Board of Directors on  January 28, 2013.

Reapproved by ALEC Board of Directors on November 16, 2017.