Binding Arbitration: Tomorrow’s Schedule; Committee Contact Info; a Little Background on the Dangers of B.A.
RI Statewide Coalition’s press conference is at 3:00 in the State House Rotunda. RISC points out that
Binding Arbitration means even more crushing property taxes … RHODE ISLANDERS ARE ALREADY HURTING WITH HIGH TAXES, BUT THIS UNION POWER GRAB WILL FORCE THEM FROM THEIR HOMES AND CAUSE FISCAL CHAOS IN OUR LOCAL CITIES AND TOWNS.
RI Tea Party’s press conference is at 3:30 on the Smith Street side of the State House. The Tea Party sez
If these bills pass this session, they will decimate any perception that pension reform will save RI!
There is NO compromise that any bill could provide that makes binding arbitration and perpetual contracts taxpayer or student friendly!
Committee hearings (scheduled to be held simultaneously in both Chambers, making it nice and convenie … wait, how could a concerned party attend both hearings???) start at the Rise of the House – around 4:00 pm.
List of House Labor Committee members. Phone numbers here.
List of Senate Labor Committee members. Phone numbers here.
And, if all of this hasn’t convinced you, in a ProJo OpEd late last year, Steve Frias outlines how Cranston, through the joy of binding arbitration, came to have some of the highest property taxes in Rhode Island.
Just as Rhode Island’s textile strikes of 1922 and 1934 altered the course of Rhode Island’s history, so would the enactment of binding arbitration.
Binding arbitration would lead to many of the benefits that Cranston’s police officers and firefighters currently enjoy. In 1975, the firefighters union, through binding arbitration, began receiving longevity-pay bonuses that give employees additional pay raises the longer they work in government.
In 1980, a binding-arbitration decision required Cranston to provide Blue Cross to retiring firefighters for the rest of their lives even though firefighters could retire in their early 40s after 20 years of work. Today, Cranston’s unfunded retiree-health-care liability stands at $50,136,114.
In that same decision, the arbitrator established a minimum-manning requirement for firefighters, which required hiring more firefighters and increased firefighters’ ability to obtain overtime. A year later, in 1981, another binding-arbitration decision required that holiday pay be “included in determining a retiree’s pension.” What the firefighters won through binding arbitration, police officers in Cranston gained by contractual agreement out of a sense of fairness and a feeling of futility in contesting the issues in binding arbitration.
If you believe that history repeats itself, you may just learn something about what could come to pass by reading a little bit of Cranston’s past.
In point of fact, rather than expanding binding arbitration to school contracts, the General Assembly needs to revoke binding arb from the municipal side. It is one of the measures critical to backing Rhode Island’s state and local tax burden down from the fifth highest in the country.
And Dan makes a couple of excellent points under Marc’s post.
… the entire arbitration selection system guarantees compromises and meet-in-the-middle decisions even when compromises are not the fair and just solution. When a city is bankrupt and a teacher’s union demands 8% pay increases, giving the union 3% pay increases is not justice – it is financial madness. Any arbitrator who rules in favor of the city will be blacklisted by the unions and will never be selected as an arbitrator again.