Receiver blames binding arbitration for Central Falls financial problems

PROVIDENCE, RI – A controversial binding arbitration bill failed to move forward earlier this year in the General Assembly. Now, Central Falls' receiver Robert Flanders says that city's financial distress was caused in part by binding arbitration.

Central Falls is on the hook for $80-million in retiree benefits. Flanders says that's part of the reason why he made a bankruptcy filing for the city last week. He says binding arbitration caused Central Falls' finances to spiral out of control.

"I just think that where you have a system that allows a third-party who's not accountable to the voters or the taxpayers, much less to the management of the city, you're asking for trouble and you get agreements that are not really in the interests of the taxpayers," he says.

Flanders' view sharply contrasts with that of state Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed. During an appearance last week on WRNI's Political Roundtable, she called arbitration a tool to encourage bargaining in good faith.

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