Tools in the Governor’s Supplemental Budget for Cities and Towns
In Saturday’s Pawtucket Times, Jim Baron, who, despite his opinion of another Rhode Island blog, is an excellent reporter that we need to clone, lists those ground-breaking (for Rhode Island) recommendations in the Governor’s supplemental budget.
The changes have been touted by mayors and administration officials as “tools” that would allow cities and towns to bring their budgets under control and ease the pain of state aid cuts that are also part of the governor’s supplemental budget.
> creating a statewide health, vision and dental plan for school employees and taking those issues out of the realm of collective bargaining;
> setting a minimum 25 percent co-share of health insurance premiums;
> forbidding “minimum manning” provisions in future police and firefighter contracts;
> reducing the pay for police and firefighters disabled in the line of duty from 100 percent to 80 percent of salary;
> modifying arbitration rules to restrict arbitrators to choose between the two sides’ “last best offer:”
> making it illegal for teachers to strike or “work to rule” during contract disputes;
> taking away the right for a hearing and other protections when teachers are laid off to reduce a school district’s budget;
> requiring that proposed language of teacher contracts be posted on the Internet 30 days before the contract is ratified, and asserting management rights for issues that are currently subjects of collective bargaining.