February 2, 2009

Tools in the Governor's Supplemental Budget for Cities and Towns

Monique Chartier

In Saturday's Pawtucket Times, Jim Baron, who, despite his opinion of another Rhode Island blog, is an excellent reporter that we need to clone, lists those ground-breaking (for Rhode Island) recommendations in the Governor's supplemental budget.

The changes have been touted by mayors and administration officials as “tools” that would allow cities and towns to bring their budgets under control and ease the pain of state aid cuts that are also part of the governor’s supplemental budget.

These include

> creating a statewide health, vision and dental plan for school employees and taking those issues out of the realm of collective bargaining;

> setting a minimum 25 percent co-share of health insurance premiums;

> forbidding “minimum manning” provisions in future police and firefighter contracts;

> reducing the pay for police and firefighters disabled in the line of duty from 100 percent to 80 percent of salary;

> modifying arbitration rules to restrict arbitrators to choose between the two sides’ “last best offer:”

> making it illegal for teachers to strike or “work to rule” during contract disputes;

> taking away the right for a hearing and other protections when teachers are laid off to reduce a school district’s budget;

> requiring that proposed language of teacher contracts be posted on the Internet 30 days before the contract is ratified, and asserting management rights for issues that are currently subjects of collective bargaining.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

Take a look at this:

Is anyone really going to tell me that we are not paying these public employees way too much???

Posted by: Mike Cappelli at February 3, 2009 9:09 AM

If you have ever wondered why UNIONS were needed in the first place, the Gov's plan is exactly why unions are needed. To stop the employer (or the Governor) from just doing away with the workers rights and benefits in one fell swoop. Benifits and rights that have been previously bargained for IN GOOD FAITH.

Have you ever considered the fact that maybe the problems aren't with the unions? Maybe the real problem is that the private sector employees just aren't paid enough! Take some money out of the corporations bottom line and give it back to the middle class employees.

You people can't see the forest because of the trees. Don't be jealous of union workers pay and benifits, get off your ass and demand more from greedy corporate America. If corporate USA had their way, you'd all be working in sweatshops 18 hrs a day 8 days a week.

Posted by: Mark at February 3, 2009 3:50 PM

The whole planet doesn't need to be unionized. You've been listening to PC and his crazy crowd too long. Businesses aren't going to come is we continue to shake them down.

The unions have broken the backs of the taxpayers, not the other way around. Public sector employees get into office locally and in state rep and senator positions and just suck all the goodness out of our state. Unions had their time when there were sweatshops. Unions are supposed to keep workers safe. Look at our infrastructure and our schools. We have had to give all the money to the public employees and there is nothing left for services. How can a contract be bargained in "good faith" when you have elected officials who are former union members and get a piece of the action in their retirement. Where's the "good faith" when elected officials give the store away in contracts we can't afford and the attitude of the unions is shut up and pay. Where is the "good faith" when elected officials with extreme conflicts of interest don't bother to get a financial impact statement before they sign over all the taxpayers money in unaffordable contract?

Posted by: kathy at February 3, 2009 5:21 PM

In a perfect world, we wouldn't need unions at all. But as we all know...

Posted by: rhody at February 3, 2009 8:27 PM

Kathy writes:

"Public sector employees get into office locally and in state rep and senator positions and just suck all the goodness out of our state."

Where has all the goodness gone?

Posted by: Phil at February 4, 2009 6:23 AM

Where has all the goodness gone?
Posted by Phil at February 4, 2009 6:23 AM

Down to Florida, where the 41 year old "reirees" get their pensions-tax free.

Posted by: Mike at February 4, 2009 7:24 PM
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