Cicilline and the Firefighters
The contract negotiations between Providence Mayor Cicilline and the Providence Firefighters Union continues to drag on. It seems that they can’t even agree on what they agree upon.
Cicilline said three issues are impeding negotiations: employee contributions to health insurance, cost of living increase for pensions, and “management flexibility.”
Cicilline said the firefighters must agree to pay 10 percent of their health-insurance premium just like four out of five city workers do.
Since he took office, Cicilline has negotiated five union contracts. Those unions have agreed to the 10-percent contribution. The police and fire contracts are the only major contracts that have not been resolved.
The administration has offered a 3-percent annual cost-of-living increase for firefighter retirees, but Cicilline said the union rebuffed the offer and has not made a counterproposal.
Doughty refuted the mayor, saying the union has made several concessions. The union has agreed, in philosophy, to pay 10 percent of health costs or thereabouts, Doughty said. The union has also indicated that would agree to a 3-percent compounded cost-of-living increase for retirees.
“I’ve told them we are willing to pay a co-share,” he said. “It’s going to look very similar to what the other unions [agreed to.]”
Cicilline said, “That has not been expressed to my negotiating team in any way.”
Doughty said, “There is no way that he doesn’t understand that this is on the table. I said it.”
Simply put, someone’s not telling the truth. Why do these games have to be played? Whatever happened to honest brokering? Sheesh.