Governor negotiates with union leaders on pensions - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Governor negotiates with union leaders on pensions

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Andrea Medeiros

The state's landmark pension overhaul was reached last November. The unions have been itching for their day in court ever since then, but before that there are last minute negotiations going on between the state and public employees unions.

Pension reform has already taken a toll on Chris Wilde and his wife. "It's tough because she was supposed to retire in December and now she has to wait an additional three years," said Wilde.

His wife has multiple sclerosis and works for DCYF, and he's a teacher. Both of them were impacted when legislators voted, last year, to raise the retirement age and cut cost of living adjustments for thousands of state employees.

"They already made those commitments so we're the ones talking about compromising down from the commitments they already made from employees and active retirees. That's a tragedy of government," said National Education Executive Director Bob Walsh.

He was one of the union leaders who sat down with the Governor Tuesday night attempting a compromise.

"We think sitting down and actually discussing the important issues is always a better way to get to a lasting solution," said Walsh.

URI business professor Ed Mazee said re-negotiating would make the state look bad for economic development, cost more money, and lower our bond rating.

"It's definitely not going to cost us less, since we would be going back to a system that was already on the verge of bankruptcy," said Mazee.

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo said she won't re-negotiate, reiterating she's confident the state will win in court.



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