Mediation Continues Between Unions and the State Over Pension Overhaul

Aug 7, 2013

Mediation is set to continue over the challenge by a series of public-employee unions to an overhaul of the state pension system in 2011.

General treasurer Gina Raimondo was critical to the 2011 pension overhaul, over which the two parties are now in mediation.

The outcome of the case has big implications for the state.The two sides in the pension case have repeatedly asked for more time to mediate their differences. Following another such request, the next update is slated before Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter on September 5th. Taft-Carter was the one who ordered mediation in the case last December.

In 2012, a coalition of public employee unions filed a legal challenge to the pension overhaul. They say the overhaul violated their constitutional rights and went too far by cutting promised benefits. Supporters of the overhaul, including state Treasurer Gina Raimondo, argue that it was necessary to keep the state pension fund solvent.

If mediation is unable to produce a settlement in the dispute, the legal case is expected to reach the state Supreme Court. Many millions of dollars in possible increased expenses for taxpayers hang in the balance.

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