Changing the Tenor of Contracts
Although I missed the budget discussion, I’m glad that I stopped by the Tiverton Town Council meeting, because discussion of a particular contract for an administrative assistant turned into debate of the contract policy overall. (My money’s on the likelihood that the position will remain unfilled.) Some key highlights that councilors throughout Rhode Island ought to be competing to out-do:
- Councilman Jay Edwards suggested that all contracts going forward should call for 20–25% healthcare copays.
- Councilman Brian Medeiros said that, although he understands the reasoning behind it, offering health-insurance “buy backs” might be a bad idea. He backed off a bit, suggesting lower amounts; me, I’d argue that the town should bring its healthcare benefit itself in line with private-sector offerings such that there’s around a 50:50 chance that married employees will take the other plan for the reason that it’s better.
- Councilman Hannibal Costa absolutely refuses to be a part of passing any contract that offers merit-related pay but that does not enumerate the expectations and benchmarks for judging success. He argued that department heads (e.g., the fire chief) are highly trained professionals who ought to be able to impress the average person; their contracts, therefore, ought to set forth guidelines for judging standard, expected achievement versus stellar keep-this-one-at-any-cost achievement.