In her post this afternoon, Monique didn’t quote my favorite unionist quotations in that article about the governor’s proposal to require presigning public hearings on public contracts (emphasis added):
“I’m halfway decent at reading tea leaves and I’m pretty clear that this budget article is about putting pressure on public officials not to give decent, in my view, pay raises and benefits to public sector workers,” said James Parisi, a lobbyist for the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals. “It’s built on a couple false assumptions — that the employer doesn’t know what they’re doing and they’re getting hoodwinked by unions…. Public perception and the chatter out there aside, it’s just not true and you need to know it’s not true.”
Allow me to be the first to confirm Mr. Parisi in his suspicion that the public probably doesn’t agree with his view of “decent raises and benefits.” In the eye of we many beholders (who are thus far beholden), his “decent” is our “decadent,” “disproportionate,” and sometimes “diabolical.”
However, the majority of us don’t, I believe, take our public representatives to be “getting hoodwinked” so much as having insufficient motivation to consider what our reaction might be were the contracts laid before us. When they do, they take the tack of the Tiverton School Committee and bring salient numbers before the public without a public hearing mandate.