December 17, 2007

The Price of Public Service Goes Up

Justin Katz

Newport Superior Court Judge Vincent Ragosta has rebuffed the Tiverton School Committee's attempt to "block the teachers' union from picketing on Monday [this afternoon] at the workplace of the committee chairwoman, St. Anne's Hospital in Fall River." Anybody considering elected office in Tiverton with the intention of upholding citizens' interests against the unions — or at least the teacher's union — should be on notice that their places of business are now considered open game by so-called professionals who believe they've a positive right to pay raises beyond the private-sector norm.

Personally, that would be a plus, if I had any inclination at all to eschew my journalistic objectivity and run for office. (Yes, yes, tongue in cheek.) I'd love to have the union visit me on the jobsite. Right now, for example, we're installing rafters, and it'd be nice to have somewhere to throw all of the snow on the second floor deck. In warmer weather, I could find it necessary to do such things as run a few hundred lineal feet of pressure-treated lumber through the table saw upwind from the picket lines.

I'm not, of course, saying that I think the union thugs' First Amendment rights ought to be curtailed. But I do hope that citizens will take note of the fact that the intimidational picketing is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. — a reminder that the hard-working educators somehow have the ability to do their street-walking at a time when counterprotests are sure to be hindered by regular folks' need to earn a living. I heard one Tiverton resident mention to WPRO's Matt Allen on Saturday that he'll be outside St. Anne's opposing the teachers, and I can only hope that he won't be alone.


As a follow up to my notes from the last school committee meeting, I'd like to mention that, according to a print-edition Providence Journal article, the union member who was surprised that the school committee could find the money to move some children out of an overcrowded and antiquated school building into a temporary classroom was high school guidance counselor Lynn Nicholson.

What is it with the Tiverton school system guidance department, I wonder?

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Good. I hope they show up with 100 teachers and staff to protest. And I hope every news outlet is there in force. And I hope Gio is smart enough to have a film crew there too so he can have his own footage for the upcoming election cycles television commercials.

Pat Crowley. The gift that keeps on giving.

Posted by: Greg at December 17, 2007 8:02 AM

A good idea is to have a rally outside Crowley's Lincoln house to give Him the finger-from the taxpayers.

Posted by: Mike at December 17, 2007 9:23 AM

Mike has an excellent idea. Maybe we can dress as our favorite waterfowl, too. The only problem is, unlike Pat, most of us have class, as well as real jobs.

Anyway, I think it's good that they'll look like they're bullying and/or harassing the school committee person. It only makes them look bad, not her.

Posted by: Will at December 17, 2007 11:48 AM

Sounds like both sides are dying for blood here.
The Tiverton kids are getting an education this year, all avarice and demogoguery from both sides in this fight. This is developing into a classic "pox on both their houses" situation.

Posted by: rhody at December 17, 2007 12:23 PM

The union wants more money where there is none for services they aren't providing well. I don't know how they even expect to break even let alone win this fight.

Maybe if they were providing a world-class education they'd have an argument. We all know the numbers. We pay one of the highest bills in the nation for an entirely miserable education system. And the educators come back every year and proclaim 'we can do better if you give us MORE'.

Sorry. Well's dry. Don't like it? Move.

Posted by: Greg at December 17, 2007 12:48 PM


Couldn't have said it better myself!!

Posted by: WillP at December 17, 2007 3:27 PM

We need a new thread discussion Ducky's LIE on RIFuture about why they decided to move the venue.


"The teachers had decided over the weekend that given the death of Robert Doyle, a member of a family with strong ties to the school system, that they would change their picket to the school Superintendent's office. Now, the question will be, what will the school committee do in response?"

But as late THIS MORNING he was still arguing with local [snip] also-ran Bobby Oliviera over where to hold it.

Sounds to me like he figured out his plan was going to backfire like a Looney Tunes shotgun on him and he chickened (should that be DUCKed?) out.

Posted by: Greg at December 17, 2007 6:36 PM

For some, cancellation of the picketing wasn't enough. The motives had to be questioned, too.
Well, now I can understand why union members might be a little cheesed.

Posted by: rhody at December 17, 2007 9:37 PM

Politics, properly played, is chess, rhody. No move is made without careful calculation.

When the RIGOP play politics, they're playing Gnip Gnop. It's no wonder they're getting their arses handed to them in this state.

Posted by: Greg at December 17, 2007 10:32 PM
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