RI teachers unions

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This summer, there was good news and bad news for public employees.  RI Gov. Gina Raimondo vetoed legislation that would have kept their labor contracts in effect while a new contract is under negotiation.  But the governor allowed a measure to make it easier for police and firefighters to get tax-free disability pensions. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says Raimondo may have gotten her priorities wrong on these bills.  


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As the nation pays its final respects to Antonin Scalia, the brilliant legal scholar and conservative U.S. Supreme Court justice, one interest group breathing a sigh of relief is organized labor, particularly the public employee unions.

That’s because one of the crucial cases likely to be affected by Scalia’s passing is the future of public employee unions. Under a California legal joust that was decided in favor of the unions in the lower courts, a union’s right to charge dues to members who are not union members, but are part of a collective bargaining unit, was up in the air.

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Once again, Rhode Island politics is ensnared in a public employee pension controversy. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s time to put this issue in our collective rear view mirror.

It’s well past time to get beyond the noisy debate over public employee pensions in Rhode Island. It’s a joust that has ensnared  the Statehouse for more than a generation. It has long pitted the business community against public employees and their union leaders, fractured relations between conservatives and liberals and led to tortuous attempts for years to shore up the system.