Perpetual Contract: Making a Spark in a Gunpowder Factory
Andrew’s news might explain the lack of the usual angst from the state’s unionists over legislative assurances that binding arbitration is dead, for the time being: The unions’ first choice — perpetual contracts — is alive and well. You’ll recall that the deadly bill, S0713, passed the Senate and the House Labor Committee and then mysteriously disappeared during the time of tea parties and ramping up town hall anger.
Binding arbitration grew in it’s place, of course, and wouldn’t it explain a lot of strange behavior from the General Assembly and the unionists, especially those associated with the National Education Association, if the pair of bills are a connivance to inflate an over-sized union life-raft as the ship of state goes down? Get everybody to react to binding arbitration and then send in the more vicious animal through the back door. Ed Achorn’s column on binding arbitration reads even more darkly in this new context:
Many Rhode Islanders, suffering from “learned helplessness” and biding their time until they too can join the great middle-class migration from the state, have given up whimsical notions that legislators here would ever serve the public interest. In their view, the politicians will never be happy until the sign that adorns Dante’s Inferno is placed along all roads and highways leading into the state: “Abandon hope all ye who enter here.”
If this legislative ghoul does come to life, this week, the backlash should be quadruple what it would have been against binding arbitration: not only based on the demerits, but also in reaction to the deception.