Monday, July 28, 2008

RI Gov and Union play chicken


“There will be no resumption of negotiations with Council 94,” Carcieri said. “My administration spent six months and hundreds of hours negotiating the terms of this agreement with representatives of Council 94. Those representatives agreed to the terms that were finally negotiated. There were numerous concessions from the state, including not going forward with the layoff of hundreds of employees and guaranteed wage increases of 8.5 percent over the four-year contract.”

Grilli said Council 94 would probably file an unfair labor practice charge with the state Board of Labor Relations as soon as Monday. Grilli and other labor leaders believe that the Carcieri administration is required to negotiate under the state’s labor laws.

“This is uncharted territory. But we believe we still are protected by the law,” Grilli said. “Rather than all this posturing, I think we should sit down.”

Carcieri administration officials, however, maintain that they are not required to negotiate. They believe that Council 94 currently has no contractual rights. The administration issued letters last month officially terminating its most recent contract, which expired July 1.