Why There’s No Agreement Yet

Steve Peoples of the Projo identifies the main issue that, so far, has prevented the Carcieri administration and state employees labor unions from finalizing an agreement on a pay reduction with some deferred compensation for state employees, in order to avoid either shutdown days of layoffs…

The potential deal-breaker appears to be Carcieri’s bid for more flexibility than current union contracts allow to move state workers from job to job, agency to agency, and union to union.
For the first time, Carcieri said Thursday his no-layoff promise to the unions, for the next two years, was specifically tied to the unions’ willingness to give him more flexibility than he has now to move workers around….
Carcieri provided his own perspective, as he was leaving a business-sponsored health-care summit in Warwick: “They want a no-layoff [promise]. I said I could agree with that for this year, because we’re well into the year and effectively getting any layoffs done for this year, it would be problematic anyway to get significant savings. But they want a two-year deal. And all I’ve said [is], I’m happy to consider that, but if we’re going to have no layoffs for two years, we need flexibility, because even without layoffs there’s going to be changes going on and you need to move people around.”

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