9/14/09

Carcieri-Union Compromise Deal is a Practical Solution

RI state employee unions will be voting today on whether to accept the compromise deal worked out late last week with the Carcieri administration regarding furloughs and/or layoffs in an attempt to recoup some portion of the more than $60 million deficit the state is currently facing from last fiscal year. The tentative deal calls for no furloughs and layoffs; rather unionized state workers will take a pay cut by working some days going forward without pay with the option of recouping the lost salary at the time of retirement.

This would appear to be a practical solution because it's a better outcome than layoffs and it would keep state government running. With furloughs you have state government all but shutting down on designated days; in this situation you have government functioning but the workers wouldn't get paid on the "no pay" days.

Let's hope the rank and file don't surprise their leaders (again)by voting this down and provoking another confrontation and protracted court battle. We shall see.

3 comments:

  1. Dear John, perhaps you jinxed the process by endorsing it. As I write this, the union has backed away!

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  2. That's still the news today, David. Apparently the unions - principally Council 94, are trying to negotiate their way through this even before they put a deal to a vote by their members. The situation is much the same in New Hampshire, where the state and the unions are locked in what's become an impasse over furloughs. That agreement is falling apart there, and it may do the same here in RI. That's why the Carcieri adminisration is going over the layof list with a fine tooth comb in preparation for their next move if the talks break down.

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  3. I can't figure out who's dragging their feet here. The unions say they submitted a compromise proposal to the state last week and still haven't heard back. Meanwhile, the Governor's folks are working on a layoff plan. Why aren't they sitting down together?

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