September 29, 2007

Re: Information or Poor Bargaining Practice?

Justin Katz

Westerly Sun reporter Chris Keegan has answered, via email, my question about the complaint that the NEA's Peter Gingras filed with the State Labor Relations Board against Bill Felkner. Apparently, Gringas specifically mentioned Felkner's blog during a phone conversation with Keegan.

In other words — although I don't know whether any penalties exist for doing so — Mr. Gringas appears to have filed an utterly frivolous complaint. If you can't force them out, I guess, shut them up. The problem is that such strategies don't work so well in the Internet Age.

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Thanks for obtaining this important clarification, Justin.

"If you can't force them out, I guess, shut them up."

That's right. The complaint filed against William Felkner is not only baseless and frivolous, it falls in the same category as Ken's concluding remark in a comment under NEA Pay Cut Analysis Day 6:

"At least one thing is positively good, all posting on the world-wide-web Blogs are archived and can be recovered for later court use."

Threats and legal intimidation tactics will probably not silence the messenger (William Felkner, Donald Hawthorne or whomever). But more importantly, such a thuggish approach will not alter one whit the truth that is being spoken, though it may delay the measures that must be taken to repair Rhode Island's expensive and ineffective education system; specifically:

Schools ranked 46th worst;

8th highest paid teachers;

7th highest taxes in the country.

More interesting and unfortunate details about the state of our education system can be found in this report:

Posted by: Monique at September 29, 2007 11:35 AM

What? No talk of Murphy talking about switching new employees to 401(k)s?! We finally start to get something looking like responsible government and you guys are all at the golf course?

Posted by: Greg at September 29, 2007 11:56 AM

Way to go Jusi, just keep repeating the party line and maybe you'll convince someone.

Your legal analysis, is again, RIGHT on target.

Posted by: Pat Crowley at September 29, 2007 1:22 PM

So Pat, are you should saying that Courts should have the right to shut down media outlets whose content they deem inappropriate, because that's where it seems that this conversation is headed.

Posted by: Andrew at September 29, 2007 2:11 PM


I daresay that the 401(k)s-for-new-state -employees story will still be alive on Monday.

The value added from new media on this one will be in presenting and discussing the details, not in trying to "scoop" something that already led the 6:00 TV news!

And I haven't golfed in a year or two, since I developed a phobia of snap-hooking my short irons.

Posted by: Andrew at September 29, 2007 2:32 PM
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