A bill to extend binding arbitration to teacher contracts -- which last hit the House floor during the 2011 legislative session -- is coming back to the Statehouse.
Binding arbitration legislation sponsored by state Representative Anastasia Williams (D-Providence) is slated for a House Labor Committee hearing Tuesday (following the House session, or about 4:30/5 p.m.) in Room 201. A vote is not expected to take place following the hearing.
Robert Walsh, executive director of the National Education Association Rhode Island, is pouring cold water on one theory making the rounds -- that the House of Representatives will approve binding arbitration as part of a deal for the state Senate to pass same-sex marriage legislation.
The premise is a little funny on its face, since organized labor is a strong supporter of both issues. Still, stranger things have happened in the annals of Rhode Island politics.
Providence police on Thursday approved, by an 89 percent margin, a settlement with the City of Providence that, the city says, saves $18.5 million in the current budget year and cuts the pension plan’s unfunded liability by at least $170 million. The vote, word which came in via mobile phones as city officials joined reporters for a holiday party at the home of David Ortiz, Mayor Angel Taveras’ press secretary, is the latest in a string of negotiated settlements in Providence.
The liberal activist group RI Jobs with Justice is having its latest awards dinner this Thursday, 6-9 pm, at the Cranston Portuguese Club. Former state rep David Segal sent along the following details:
Jobs With Justice is scrappy, but one of the most important and effective activist organizations in Rhode Island. The campaign they helped lead in support of a living wage ordinance in Providence is one of the reasons I got involved in politics here and decided to run for City Council a decade ago.
Governor Lincoln Chafee says the uncertainty and cost of litigating a union challenge to last year’s landmark pension overhaul justify efforts to seek a settlement.
In a telephone interview from Washington, DC, where he’s attending a National Governors Association meeting, Chafee dismissed concerns that a settlement would dilute the pension overhaul to such an extent that it would hurt Rhode Island’s fiscal condition.
After a long, strange trip, Election 2012 is in the books. It’s been a long week, so sit back and relax with my latest edition of TGIF. Your comments are welcome, as always, at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org.
The General Assembly has long been populated with public employees — police officers, firefighters, and teachers — so the Hatch Act complaint described by state Representative Jon Brien has no small significance.
Larry Berman, the spokesman for House Speaker Gordon Fox, says the House leadership believes Stephen Casey is on solid ground in rebutting Brien’s complaint.