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Don’t be surprised if binding arbitration is dead

June 30, 2011

It’s impossible to predict precisely what might happen, of course, in the waning hours of a legislative session at the State House.

But it seemed telling yesterday when House Majority Leader Nicholas Mattiello effectively brought to a close the House Labor Committee’s consideration of the much-debated binding arbitration bill.

Labor is making a full court press in support of the legislation. And a de facto coalition of opponents, ranging from Providence Mayor Angel Taveras to the Rhode Island Tea Party, is fighting on the other side. The official decision on the fate of the bill is expected as soon as tonight.

One interesting footnote is how Senator John F. Tassoni, a labor guy who issues perhaps more press releases than any of his legislative peers, didn’t take part in yesterday’s Senate vote on binding arbitration. Tassoni says he was advised to recuse himself because he’s on the state mediation list.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. rhody permalink
    June 30, 2011 6:51 pm

    In this case, I don’t want to hear any complaints about how teachers working under expired contracts are killing municipal finances. I hope the voices that yelled the loudest about the evils of binding arbitration keep their yaps shut when school opens and current contracts are in force.
    You say both binding arbitration and evergreen contracts are both evil? Make a choice.

  2. All Star permalink
    July 1, 2011 12:06 am

    This legislation was long overdue. It seems that the GA will cave to the public pressure to continue with the current demonizing of teachers and teacher unions.

    Unfortunately the unions did not make their case with numbers as did the tea party people. Mayor Tavares continues to show his wetness behind the ears in terms of his labor knowledge. It was the responsibility of the unions to show the public where ‘last best offer’ binding arbitration has produced the benefits that result from a peaceful conclusion to labor talks. Other than talk about loss of control, where is the evidence thatt taxpayers and the ilk are complaining about. The mayor of Cranston should know better. Collective bargaining provided the framework for the middle class to rise up from the mansions of the gilded age. Public sector employees and management need a mechanism that provides both sides with the opportunity to press their case, peacefully. Otherwise, we see the results in the streets of Greece.


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