Providence Retirement Benefit Deal Under Consideration

Lots of detail about a proposed settlement negotiated between Providence Mayor Angel Tavares and the heads of the city’s employees’ unions is available from WPRI-TV‘s (CBS 12) Ted Nesi and Tim White, including provisions like this one…

Going forward, pensions will max out based on the same equation as the COLA freeze: either 150% of the state’s median household income or the salary of an active police officer or fighter in the same rank at which they retired – whichever is lower.
According to the report, “the proposed agreement will now go to the City Council for approval. It will also be presented to members of Local 1033 and the police and fire unions for votes”.

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Tommy Cranston
Tommy Cranston
9 years ago

Useless.
This agreement with the unions representing active employees only does nothing to take away retired workers rights to sue over the COLA’s, Medicare changes or anything else. Nothing.

Max D
Max D
9 years ago

How so Tommy?

Monique
Editor
9 years ago

Tommy:
Below from the WPRI report:
“The negotiated settlement between Taveras, public-safety retirees and Providence’s three major unions – Local 1033, police and fire”
It looks like it would apply both to current workers and retirees. Where are you seeing otherwise?

Dan
Dan
9 years ago

Tommy is correct. The unions can only bargain on behalf of future retirees. Current retirees, particularly those receiving 5-6% COLAs and disability pensions, are the vast majority of the problem.

Monique
Editor
9 years ago

… so why are we announcing a tentative agreement when the largest participant might not be on board?
Another question. What does “on board” look like? 51% of retirees? Super-majority of 80%? If less than 100% does the trick, will courts rule against dissenting individual retirees if they sue?

Max D
Max D
9 years ago

The retirees hired Joe Penza to represent them so they were at the table. My guess is the unions footed the bill even though he was working on the retirees behalf. The same thing occurred a few years back when Smithfield tried to change the healthcare for retirees. The union picked up the tab and they also settled.

Rich
Rich
9 years ago

Id be very surprised if any individuals sought to litigate this on their own, or as a small body. It would be very expensive. These replies just go to show, it would take nothing short of these folks never getting a dime in pension payments to make some of you happy. I get its an us vs. them mentality around here but are we not capable of giving credit where credit is due?

ProvLawyer
ProvLawyer
9 years ago

The media reports clearly state that the retirees were represented by counsel in the Medicare litigation and then Judge Taft Carter ordered the current unions to join the negotiations and the deal was worked out from there.
If this works, it will be American history in the making and Providence will be a national model for saving a capital city from bankruptcy.

Monique
Editor
9 years ago

“The article mentions that the retirees were represented in creation of this deal”
“they are expected to form a class”
Thank you – that’s better.
We should note that this is not a done deal because all of the individuals in the various unions and retiree organizations have yet to express their opinion on the proposal by voting.
Back to the original objection that occurred to me when I first heard about this resolution: it doesn’t address the excessive, bordering on obscene, pensions that some retirees are receiving. To be specific, no pension should exceed the amount of the retiree’s wages (already juiced by o.t.) while s/he was working. It’s absurd and completely unjustified.

Tommy Cranston
Tommy Cranston
9 years ago

“Id be very surprised if any individuals sought to litigate this on their own”
Prepare to be surprised.

Tom Kenney
9 years ago

Monique:
[[[ “…it doesn’t address the excessive, bordering on obscene, pensions that some retirees are receiving. To be specific, no pension should exceed the amount of the retiree’s wages (already juiced by o.t.) while s/he was working.” ]]]
You’re right in that it doesn’t address the excessive (and yes, obscene) pensions. I wish it could have, but they’ll never go away.
However, you’re assertion that anything regarding the pensions (the old calculations or the proposed calculations) are “already juiced by o.t.” is simply wrong. Overtime has never been, and will never be, calculated as part of the calculation for a base pension in Providence.

Dan
Dan
9 years ago

There is a near 100% certainty this will end up in court and the retirees will probably win. The city shouldn’t make corrupt promises it can’t keep. Having said that, the pensions are objectively unsustainable so the victory will just end everyone up in bankruptcy court.

Bill
Bill
9 years ago

Why is everyone so afraid of a city bankruptcy? It could be the best thing for the city. Both Robert Flanders and Gary Sasse have spoken of its potential benefits. Today’s bankrupcty, handled properly, could do long-term wonders for Providence.

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