## UPDATED: The Providence Deal with Local 1033 (Cold Water Alert!)

UPDATED: Here are the actual deals (2011-12; 2012-15). The below was originally posted based on info released at Mayor Taveras’ press conference as reported by the ProJo. (Thanks to commenter jparis for the heads-up).
According to the report from ProJo, here’s the basic outline of the deal Providence Mayor Angel Taveras made with Local 1033:
* In exchange for “job security”: 1% pay cut effective July 1; no raises until Jan 2012 June 30, 2013. Comment: That’s one two year(s) without a raise. Another example of gov’t speak trying to make the “cuts” look like more than they are – “The workers also forgo planned raises that were part of their previous agreement: 1-percent that should have came Jan. 1, 2011; 2-percent on July 1, 2011; and another 1-percent that was due Jan. 1, 2012.” ADDENDUM: 3% raises resume July 1, 2013, with another 3% raise July 1, 2014. Glad to know we’re going to be out of fiscal trouble by then.
* Increase in health care contributions from current 9.8%, depending on current salary. Those making more than \$50,000 go to 16.5, 18 and 20 percent for 2012, 2014 and 2015 respectively. Less than \$50,000 go to 15% in 2014. Comment: (Delayed) Reality setting in. I get the “give and take” of negotiations, but given the \$70 million deficit facing the city NOW, why not impose the 20% (or 15%) NOW? ADDENDUM: Is the 20% really 20%? The calculation to determine the employee co-payment “shall not increase by more than 9.5% annually.”
* 1% reduction in longevity payments, saves \$1.5 million. Comment: I suppose the total removal of longevity is too much to ask for…
* Overall, \$26 million saved over next 4 years, “including \$2.2 million this year and \$4.6 million next year.” Comment: Quick math – so that means \$19.2 million will be saved in years 3 and 4. Anyone else feel like that may be “on paper”?
Next year the projected deficit is \$110 million. This deal is projected to save \$4.6 million next year. Only \$105.4 million to go.
Look, if this was 2006, this deal would be something to really cheer about. And I guess, given the past record, it still can be qualified as a positive step. But it does add to the sense that government just doesn’t do a good job of expediently dealing with fiscal crisis. Again, given the past, I’m sure the union leaders and membership really feel like they’ve made big sacrifices here. The Mayor probably feels the same way. Like I said, welcome to 2006 guys. Too bad it’s 2011.

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Patrick
13 years ago

Anything less than 20% for health insurance is a joke. I currently pay 25%. 20% for these people should be a given.

Russ
13 years ago

“Given the past record,” eh? Which you conveniently don’t bother to mention in specifics.
What this does indicate (not that you folks would say it), is that the union has repeatedly offered concessions in contract negotiations. Even now offering addition concessions on agreeement negotiated in 2008.
“…why not impose the 20% (or 15%) NOW?”
Ah, yes, if only more Rhode Island families lost their access to healthcare. What a paradise that would be!

mangeek
13 years ago

“why not impose the 20% (or 15%) NOW?”
For the same reasons there are limits on changes to the tax burden, or rent on tenants. It’s OK to aim for something and get there over time, but these payments can have dramatic effects on monthly budgets of people. Phasing them in is much more palatable.
And I agree, 25% of premiums is sort of the benchmark for ‘good benefits’. Anything less seems sort of silly, unless it’s given in lieu of ‘base pay’.

Patrick
13 years ago

“Anything less seems sort of silly, unless it’s given in lieu of ‘base pay’.”
Heh, right. I’d be willing to bet that isn’t the case.

Editor
13 years ago

“It’s OK to aim for something and get there over time, but these payments can have dramatic effects on monthly budgets of people. Phasing them in is much more palatable.”
… um, except that, again, in the private sector, not much phasing in of higher health premiums went on.
But if the public employees are to be afforded a courtesy that the private sector did not get, we return to Marc’s point: this (phase-in) needed to be started a good five years ago. (Who was mayor then …?) Now there’s no time for a phase in because there’s no money for it.

13 years ago

Yes Russ, It’s a conspiracy by me to “conveniently” forget that past “cuts” have been made up for by future raises, that they’ve been slow-belling healthcare subsidization (that’s what it is when they aren’t paying market rate) reform, etc. Please. It’s all of the same piece: go sloooow and hope things get better. And Ianazzi said he expects things to come back once the economy is better.
While I understand that phasing in is less painful, note that the under \$50K workers are getting one big 5% bump in one year while the over \$50k are going more slowly over 4 years.
My health care went up 13% this year.
We can’t all work for the government or big “non-profit”, subsidized health care providers.

EMT
13 years ago

Ah, yes, if only more Rhode Island families lost their access to healthcare. What a paradise that would be!
I make less than \$50,000, and I’ve been paying 15% for years (non-government employer). Many RIers pay far more than that, I’m lucky.
You’re trying to tell me that a city employee making MORE than \$50,000 can’t handle a 15% contribution? Is that what you’re actually asking us to accept? That 9.8 is more than fair?

Tommy Cranston
13 years ago

In the earlier post this morning on another thread I predicted these “givebacks” would be fake.
According to Gary Sasse, on Cianci’s show minutes ago he stated that the unions made DEFERRALS only. They get everything back in 2014 and 2015 after “I’m no Angel” presumably gets re elected.
And so it goes…

riborn
13 years ago

This is what private sector businesses and employees have faced for three years: (1) business down, revenue down, no raises, increased employee health insurance constribution; (2) revenue down more, salary/wage cuts, increased employee health insurance contribution – new health insurance plan with less benefits, higher copays, maybe health savings accounts that no one understands; (3) job sharing to avoid layoffs, higher health insurance contribution; (4) revenue down, lines of credit no longer available, more cuts in wages, fewer hours of operation, higher health insurance contributions; (5) layoffs; (6) revenue still going down, more layoffs; (7) health insurance contribution 100%, fewer hours available, layoffs; (8) business closed,never to open again, everyone laid off.
The refusal or inability of government to “negotiate” on behalf of the people it is supposed to be serving is startling. It is not a “concession” to agree to a 1% cut and no raise for a year in exchange for keeping a job when the city is on the brink of financial collapse. A \$50,000 salary cut by \$500 for one year is nothing – \$10 per week. It’s as though once elected, these politicians no longer have eyes, ears or mouths – they see no reason not to keep giving the taxpayers’ money away; they don’t hear their constituents cries of financial distress, and they fail to open their mouths to say “we have no more money”.
Cut spending. Negotiate who gets the ax if you want, but cut, cut, and cut some more.

Dan
13 years ago

Come on guys, I probably want bigger cuts to government than anyone here, but let’s give some credit where it’s due. This is the first time since at least the 1940’s that anything in Rhode Island has moved in a positive direction. It’s not nearly enough to save the state, but I think that alone is pretty incredible and deserving of recognition. This is the equivalent of a dead person coughing for me.

joe bernstein
13 years ago

Russ-Federal employees have always paid about 33%,both as active employees and retirees.
It’s a little hard to have any sympathy for anyone who’d whine about 20%.
Oh,yeah,the feds switched to a 401(k)plan in 1984.

Editor
13 years ago

“The refusal or inability of government to “negotiate” on behalf of the people it is supposed to be serving is startling. …
It’s as though once elected, these politicians no longer have eyes, ears or mouths – they see no reason not to keep giving the taxpayers’ money away; they don’t hear their constituents cries of financial distress, and they fail to open their mouths to say “we have no more money”.”
Well said. Let’s not lose sight of who is far and away most responsible for the condition of our state. That is the party with all of the power to act on our behalf (or not): our elected officials. Labor unions and other special interests could demand all they want and it would be for naught if our elected officials said, “No, we will do what is best for the whole state”.
Rather than say “no” to those special interests, however, decades of elected officials (the vast majority, curiously, from one party) have chosen to bow to them.

Max Fenig
13 years ago

“More than 700 of the affected 900 workers in Local 1033 of the Laborers’ International Union of North America unanimously authorized business manager Donald Iannazzo to enter into the deal on their behalf Tuesday.”
This says it all – the union got the better of the deal!

Max Fenig
13 years ago

“More than 700 of the affected 900 workers in Local 1033 of the Laborers’ International Union of North America unanimously authorized business manager Donald Iannazzo to enter into the deal on their behalf Tuesday.”
This says it all – the union got the better of the deal!

Phil
13 years ago

Anything less than 20% for health insurance is a joke. I currently pay 25%. 20% for these people should be a given.
Posted by Patrick at April 6, 2011 2:23 PM
My health care went up 13% this year.
We can’t all work for the government or big “non-profit”, subsidized health care providers.
Posted by Marc at April 6, 2011 5:01 PM
What did you gentlemen earn last year?
If you want to give us the details on your health care contributions you might as well let us know what your salaries are too.

jparis
13 years ago

Marc, it’s already been said, but I’ll just add my voice to the small chorus that believes any progress is good progress.
If you want all or nothing, black or white, chances are you’ll get the opposite of what you’re looking for. If you want to compromise and negotiate, you might not get everything you want — but the question is, would you rather this deal NOT have gone through?
I mean, I’m sure the unions will take their pay raises, health care subsidies, longevity payments, and everything else back if you ask them nicely enough 🙂
I’m sure the Mayor feels like he just got *something* accomplished, which is more than most people can say about debt reduction in this state.
@Max: Same question. Are you more upset that they got the “better of the deal”, or would you rather have no deal at all — the status quo that doesn’t save taxpayers ANY money?
@Tommy: I’m *shocked* that Buddy Cianci would have something to gain by trying to make Mayor Taveras look bad. Doesn’t the former crook-in-chief have a new book to push or something? Oh wait, he’ll be eligible to run for office again soon, that’s right.

Patrick
13 years ago

“What did you gentlemen earn last year?”
What’s that mean?

jparis
13 years ago

@Marc: Sorry to double-post, but I just caught this from your OP:
“* In exchange for “job security”: 1% pay cut effective July 1; no raises until Jan 2012.”
^^^ That statement is incorrect.
The contract that Mayor Taveras and Local 1033 just signed stipulates that there will be no raises until FY2014 (beginning July 1, 2013) — that’s not Jan 2012. Dunno where you or the Projo got that date, but it’s simply not the correct one.
Source: Contract Text, Page 2, Section 3.a (be careful, there are apparently two section 3’s — someone messed up their numbering in MS Word) I’m referring to the first section 3.a.

Editor
13 years ago

“Anything less than 20% for health insurance is a joke”
Correct.
And we learn from GoLocalProv today that Local 1033 will collect two pensions PLUS social security upon retirement. “Scored big”, indeed.
http://www.golocalprov.com/news/local-1033-contract/

riborn
13 years ago

The attitude of “a little something is better than nothing” is part of the reason we are in this financial mess and are forced to support the elite public employee class in a manner which is far beyond their worth. It’s the attitude of a brainwashed public – thank you oh union overlords for allowing us to only raise taxes x% rather than x+.01% on the taxpaying working class who do not receive wages/salaries/benefits because they live in the real world, where they have been bled dry by taxes on all levels.

Patrick
13 years ago

I wonder if I can use this kind of cheerleading in my own home budget. I’m \$500 short every month. So let’s see, I’ll cut out cable and that \$60 a month!
Woohoo! I’m the man! I just made a huge cut that will save me \$720 a year toward my \$500 per month deficit! I’m so smart! yay! I’m all set now.
This is what the cheerleaders sound like. Yeah, cuts were made, concessions were made, but it sure sounds like a drop in the bucket. 95% more of the deficit to go.

Rasputin
13 years ago

@Mark
“Look, if this was 2006, this deal would be something to really cheer about… But it does add to the sense that government just doesn’t do a good job of expediently dealing with fiscal crisis…Like I said, welcome to 2006 guys. Too bad it’s 2011.”
How true! But does this logic apply to Mayor Scott Avedisian’s joke of pension reform? No, it doesn’t, because you’re a hypocrite who gives a Republican a pass and makes excuses for his union giveaways, but holds a Democrat’s feet to the fire. That’s why no one gives you any respect or pays attention to your criticisms.

jparis
13 years ago

@Patrick: Hey I know, so because we can’t fix our budget gap with one fell swoop, let’s sit here and complain about it and get nothing done.
Also, I’d advise you to write Mayor Taveras if you live in Providence, and ask him to please give the unions their concessions back, because it doesn’t really fix the problem and all you can tolerate is a 100% solution.
@Monique: Again, looking for the gray lining to that silver cloud. Let’s all be angry at fiscal responsibility!
Also, I think it’d be nice if Marc corrected the factual inaccuracy I noticed in his original post, but perhaps I’m just living in a world of sunshine and rainbows today 😉

Patrick
13 years ago

So Jake, let’s say that you get your electric bill for the month and it is for \$1,000. You realize that this is a mistake and needs to be fixed as normally it is \$100.
So you call up National Grid and they agree, yes it is a mistake and they lower it to \$900.
You’d say “Oh great, thank you, I’ll send you that \$900?”
Or would you complain that it’s not enough and then get countered with, “If you don’t like the \$100 adjustment, Mr. Paris, we’ll put it back to \$1,000”.
Is that about right? Just because *something* was done, even if it was skimming off the top and not nearly enough, I should be happy about this? Really?

bella
13 years ago

Palm Sunday is coming up. The cheering crowds needed five days to turn on Christ. Things move quicker today, as Angel is learning.

13 years ago

JParis: I updated early this AM and even gave you credit!

UPDATED: Here are the actual deals (2011-12; 2012-15). The below was originally posted based on info released at Mayor Taveras’ press conference as reported by the ProJo. (Thanks to commenter jparis for the heads-up).

Raspy: Oooh, a bravely anonymous attack! I’m a puddle now…no one cares! Recent post on pension: http://www.anchorrising.com/barnacles/012244.html
Or this on 2009 contract negotiations. http://www.anchorrising.com/barnacles/007295.html
Or any number of posts under “Warwick”. Why don’t you nut up and show your real name, tough guy.

jparis
13 years ago

@Patrick: There’s a logical fallacy in your comparison. In the case of a utility (National Grid), you are talking about a for-profit publicly-traded institution. They mark up their prices at various rates to achieve a profit for their shareholders.
Thus if they over-charged me, I know they are doing it for a profit, and would be understandably upset if they messed up at something I’m paying them to make a profit at.
In the case of the city of Providence, you are talking about two separate things. For one, you have a mayor who has been in office for less than a year, who is trying to fix a mess that was left for him — so I do think incremental steps are extremely important.
Secondly, the city is not a for-profit institution. If they mess up, I can always use the power of my vote to voice my concerns. I can’t vote out the CEO of Electric Grid.
See the difference?
@Marc: Sorry, truly didn’t see the update… part of the problem with opening the comments page in a different window I guess.
I really don’t need any credit, but I’m glad you corrected it.

jparis
13 years ago

I also agree with your update that the assumptions in that contract about FY2014 and FY2015 seem very rosy to say the least, but again, that’s negotiating.

Patrick
13 years ago

“who is trying to fix a mess that was left for him”
Really? So would you say that Cicilline is a liar too? I really don’t understand all of this. All of you RIF folks couldn’t do enough for Cicilline and now “he left a mess”. But I’m guessing you’d vote for him in Congress again over a fiscal conservative, no?
“so I do think incremental steps are extremely important.”
The problem with that is the bill collectors don’t accept “incremental steps” in payment. They want their money *now*. You can’t say, “oh we’ll get it to you eventually, we’re making incremental cuts.” No, you need to pay them what they’re owed “now”. Many of these people were promised far more than the city can afford and the city is now just taking back a very small piece. If Taveras can make the numbers work in these small increments, good for him, but he’s got a long way to go.
I wonder if Judge Pfeiffer is busy these days.

jparis
13 years ago

Patrick, to be completely honest, I was still an official Washington, DC resident during the election, so even though I have now moved back home to Rhode Island and was volunteering for Governor Chafee at the time, I had “no horse” in the 1st District congressional race.
I didn’t start to realize the depth of the Providence financial crisis in particular until I moved back here. I am no historian, but I can guess that a mix of reduction in state-level support, a major recession, a lack of good-faith bargaining, and inaction on the part of multiple consecutive mayors and city councils in some combination created this problem.
I am not “all of you RIF folks”… I am me, and I didn’t do anything for Congressman Cicilline during the campaign. Would I vote for a Republican fiscal conservative, even one who was progressive on social values? No.
Because I think the national Republican party has become more about obstructing the work of the people than carrying it out. Supporting that party in any way is a problem for me until they can articulate a feasible vision for our nation. That’s national politics, and might not be fair to good candidates running as Republicans in Rhode Island… but I can only hope those good candidates find some wisdom in how Governor Chafee decided to handle the party politics situation.
You are right about bill collectors. Nothing I can say to challenge that — bills suck. Recessions suck. Not having healthcare sucks. That said, I’m still happy to be one step closer to a balanced budget and a healthier Providence.

joe bernstein
13 years ago

J Paris-do you have an investment in providence,like owning a home or condo?Or even renting,because when you rent you get to eat the landlord’s tax increases?
I have been a homeowner for 27 years in Providence and the last thing i want to see is the city go under.
Governor Gump’s plan to tax middle/working class people to death when he knows damn well that the really rich(like his mother in law as he bragged)use tax dodges to evade taxes here,while enjoying all the good things this state has to offeris quie simply a crime in the making.
And now comes that f**kin’ parasite Richard Licht giving out decrees that we have no choice in the matter.
Who elected his rancid ass to anything?
He was ONCE Lt Governor-he’s nothing now except a toady for Chafee.
No cronies or hacks,hmmm?Well,Chafee lied about that,now didn’t he?
Fogarty-Exhibit B.That human zero never took a breath in his adult life when he wasn’t in government.
I’m glad to know you’re too close-minded to vote for a Republican.I myself am an indy and vote for Republicans and Democrats depending on the candidate.Some RI Dems are better than some Republcans.
Once you box yourself in,you’ve limited yourself seriously.