Re: Unionists Like the Shadows

Nine Rhode Island School Committee members from eight different communities have signed a letter supporting the East Providence school committee in its bid to make contract negotiations public

School Committee members across Rhode Island support the East Providence School Committee and its commitment to holding contract negotiation meetings open to the public. Currently, public sector contracts are negotiated behind closed doors. The public is denied the right to know how their money is being spent until the deal is signed and it’s too late to change it.
The opponents of transparent negotiations claim that opening the process would stifle negotiations with ‘onerous public input,’ ‘grandstanding’ and ‘political maneuvering’. However, Florida, Tennessee and Minnesota actually require open negotiations and they are all exhibiting positive results.
Hiding contract negotiations from public scrutiny is not required by law. Prior to each negotiation, the two parties establish ground rules. It is within these voluntary ground rules that the public loses their right to participate…
The signed public school committee members below would like to request that open sessions be required for all public sector contract negotiations and express their support for the efforts taking place in East Providence. There are other committee members expressing support but did not respond in time to participate. Others wish to remain anonymous. The co-signers represent their own opinions and not that of the committees they serve. A copy of this release will be sent to the RI Board of Regents.
Douglas Roth, North Kingstown
David Coughlin, Pawtucket
Renee Cockerill, North Kingstown
Sandra Gabaree, Johnston
Mark Baker, Glocester
Jean Ann Guliano, East Greenwich
Paul Cannistra, Warwick
Joseph Quinn, Tiverton
Bill Felkner, Hopkinton/Chariho
Alisha A. Pina of the Projo has details on the specifics of the East Providence situation here.

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