Avedesian Put’s Union Crossing Guards on Notice

Warwick Mayor Scott Avedesian has told the city’s crossing guards that their contract may not be renewed. Instead, the city may (finally!) put the contract out to bid. But…

The nonrenewal notice does not mean the municipal crossing guards will be replaced with private ones. Rather, it opens the door for one of two outcomes: either the city will negotiate a new contract with the guards — as opposed to letting the old contract roll over for another year—or it will solicit bids from companies interested in the job.

Well, at least the option is now available. Not like last year when the contract was allowed to simply roll-over. And this is a good point:

Even if Warwick ultimately decides to keep the municipal crossing guards, [Warwick City Council member Robert A.] Cushman said, notifying the union of a possible nonrenewal puts the city in a better bargaining position.
“To be honest, I think it will give the administration the leverage to negotiate a better deal,” Cushman said.

This indicates a change of tack for Avedesian.

Prior to sending that nonrenewal letter, the mayor had argued in favor of keeping the municipal guards, saying city employees are easier to monitor and make a better security presence at schools. He has also questioned the extent of the much-discussed savings, noting that what the city might save in salaries for private guards, it could lose in unemployment payments for the municipal guards.

Now that he’s gone this far, I hope the mayor follows through.

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