It’s That “Arbitration” Word
Yeah, there are several distinctions that could be drawn, but it’s difficult not to see this as a significant anecdote as the General Assembly plays with the idea of binding arbitration for teachers:
An arbitrator has blocked for the foreseeable future Mayor David N. Cicilline’s attempt to switch the health-care benefits administrator for city employees who are represented by labor unions.
Arbitrator Girard R. Visconti declared in effect that by making the switch, Cicilline would have violated labor contracts by diluting employee health-care benefits. Cicilline had insisted repeatedly that there would have been no change in benefits.
The decision, which was distributed to the litigants Monday, is a sharp setback in the mayor’s campaign to better reconcile employee costs with the city’s ability to pay. Cicilline had claimed that switching from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island to United Healthcare of New England would save the city nearly $6 million over three years.