Tiverton Would Rather Fire Employees than Keep Their Compensation in Check
In an article that doesn’t appear to be online, Tom Killin Dalglish of the Sakonnet Times perpetuates the analytical error that I’ve been describing:
Councilors were told that the contract will cost $117,000 less than the contract it replaces, and ultimately it was this feature that motivated the council members to end the debate and vote to approve the deal.
According to my analysis, the contract will cost only $5,233* less than three additional years of the final year of the last contract. Since that year was undoubtedly the most expensive of the three that it covered, the number is probably an overall increase in cost.
More interesting, in Tom’s article, is another consideration that several council members apparently found persuasive:
But the ensuing discussion molified [Jay Lambert’s] concerns. “There’s no promise in this contract that guarantees a level of employment,” said Council President Donald Bollin.
“It’s not a no-layoff contract,” said Town Solicitor Andrew Teitz.
“As long as we have Mr. Teitz’s confirmation that there may be layoffs and fuloughs,” Mr. Lambert said, he was satisfied, and he subsequently withdrew his motion to postpone council consideration of the contract.
Well that’s just great. The town council bought a too-expensive contract in the midst of an unpredictable economic downturn at the state and national levels on the grounds that they can always increase unemployment and decrease town services in the future. As I’ve said, if this sort of thinking dominates the three larger contracts that the town must negotiate in the coming months, we’re in a great deal of trouble.
* * My initial number resulted from a data entry error as explained here.