Wherego the Impressions Goes Public Opinion
Union members and supporters in Rhode Island should contemplate hard where their self-imposed imperatives are placing them in the battle of messages. On their side is a dogged assertion that official processes don’t weaken their hand even during financial emergencies:
[Union lawyer John] Leidecker also said state law says districts should adhere to the old contract until a new one is executed, and there aren’t exceptions for a fiscal crisis. In addition, he said the committee members’ decisions yesterday “further indicates their disdain for the process,” particularly the arbitration process, which produced a “fair settlement.”
It’s understandable that the union would take that line; they’ve managed, over the years, to hone The Process in their favor, after all. However, regular folk tend to turn against tilted processes when they collide against reality and reason:
Mayor Joseph Larisa said: “East Providence is flat broke. The big labor contract that finally expired was as outrageous as it is unaffordable. Now that the damage has been done, the options left are a crazy 15 to 20 percent property-tax increase against our hard-hit taxpayers, bankruptcy or finally setting reasonable and fair compensation for all school employees. There is no fourth option.