Chariho School Parents’ Forum

September 25, 2007

RISC highlights their concerns on the contract

Filed under: contract negotiations — Editor @ 11:49 pm

The chariman of the Rhode Island Statewide Coalition, Harry Staley, has an excellent LTE in the Westerly Sun outlining some of their views on the current contract. 

It is an informative letter but I have to correct one point.  The support personnel do not get a 25% buy back.  They get two 25% buy backs (on in Dec, one in June) for a total of 50% – approx $7000 for a family plan.

I know because I have made the same mistake.



  1. The Chariho Times has an article on the school committe meeting and the current status of the contract negotiations with support staff.

    Mr. Ricci, to his credit, concedes that the school can still function, albeit not as usual, in the absence of the support staff. While this seems obvious to me, I recall mention of the schools shutting down should the union strike.

    The article uses considerable space reporting on Mr. Gringas’ problems with Mr. Felkner informing the public using this website. Mr. Gringas describes Mr. Felkner as acting “irrationally”.

    I guess when you are used to politicians giving away the store to unions and hiding their behavior from the taxpayers, you would think it was irrational when an elected official shares information with the public and doesn’t kiss the behind of the union.

    All and all I though the article was fair. They even cite word-for-word the information Mr. Felkner provided to us here about past contracts and raises. I consider this quite a coup as The Chariho Times’ readership is now aware of the lie; union members have not only gotten raises equal to COLA, in many instance they have received raises well above COLA.

    Way to go Mr. Gringas! In your effort to keep us in the dark, you inadvertently brought much greater publicity to the lies of the union.

    Comment by Curious Resident — September 26, 2007 @ 4:09 pm | Reply

  2. Do you really think the school can run with out the support staff? Go ahead and try, you will fail. They have no problem giving money to the higher ups every year when they dont do anything. with out the support staff you wouldnt have a school. if they want to save money so they can have better contracts then why, everytime there is a problem in the school they have to call a comapy to fix it? i dont know how many times i have seen GEM Pluming at different schools. to save money you have to stop wasting it. One day you people will realize what you need to do, and what you need to get rid of.

    Comment by The child — September 27, 2007 @ 10:32 am | Reply

  3. You are absolutely correct. Unfortunately, the union contract restricts us from paying qualified people to replace GEM. Furthermore, if we were to hire a qualified person to do the plumbing, once the job was done and we didn’t have full time work for them, we couldn’t get rid of them because of the same contract. If we could operate the school like a normal business (reward good employees, penalize or fire bad ones) we would certainly not have these problems. But the union contract requires we pay the worse employee the same raise and benefits as the best employee – this practice hurts the good employee (so over time, they get frustrated and end up leaving).

    Comment by Bill Felkner — September 27, 2007 @ 10:41 am | Reply

  4. I’m just concerned if the school seemingly ‘caves’ to the union, what’s going to be cut from us students?

    We’re already hurting pretty bad as far as I understand, I just feel like such a rushed resolve of a contract is going to hurt more than help.

    – Anonymous Student(I’m not “the child”)

    Comment by Anonymous Student — September 27, 2007 @ 11:16 am | Reply

  5. Unfortunately, Anon Student is correct. Especially for high achieving students. You see, high achieving students don’t have a ‘special interest’ group pushing for services for them. So when the money crunch comes (which it already has) the special needs students have several groups fighting for them, the employees have the unions fighting for them, but the rest don’t have anyone fighting for them – so those are the first programs to be cut. Just like maintenance is also cut before anything else.. Then we try to push a bond because the money isn’t in the budget anymore.

    If you are a current student you would not have a point of reference to know this but those of us with more ‘experience’ (we are old) can recall when we were kids there was a lot more emphasis on high achievers. Plus the whole educational system is dumbed down. Except for 1 English credit, you could graduate within 3 years. When I was a kid, this was impossible because you needed to take 4 years of math, history, science and reading/writing. Now add in the fact that languages are no longer required and most schools accept 18+ credits of electives. Clearly, teaching is easier (on a content basis) than it was one short generation ago. It could be argued that the students are more difficult but, even if true, it shouldn’t be used as an excuse for failure.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — September 27, 2007 @ 11:45 am | Reply

  6. I have to say Felkner has finally said something possitive.When the whole group has to be forced to carry the dead beats that don’t do their job, it does become a strain on us all.Group cleaning is not fair to the people that do the work.Everyone should be responsible for their own work,so the people that do their work are not reprimanded for someone elses bad job!

    Comment by concerned parent — October 6, 2007 @ 12:45 pm | Reply

  7. Well you see, if Mr Ricci used the towns money a little better than he has been , there would be enough to make every one happy. What about the Nov 6th vote? He want’s to try and make an old school look brand new. There is nothing wrong with what we have. He just needs a reason to spend more money and make summer cleaning harder for the support staff. I say we vote down the “renovations”. I mean if we don’t have enough money for the students, or the support staff, how can we have enough money for the renovations?

    Comment by concerned parent — October 11, 2007 @ 3:37 pm | Reply

  8. There are many reasons to reject the bond. Mismanagement at Chariho is chief among them. Even if I agreed with every aspect of the bond (I don’t) I would still vote no until Chariho proves they know how to manage money and educate children.

    We spend more and get less when compared to most school districts in the country. I don’t think it is asking too much to expect us to at least be average? I will never support excessive spending with inferior results. Who would be that dumb?

    I do agree to send a $5 bill directly to Mr. Ricci if he ever answers a tough question in a clear and concise manner. The guy reminds me of fuzzy-wuzzy the bear.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 11, 2007 @ 11:00 pm | Reply

  9. Well hopefully others agree with what you just said. I guess you wont be sending Mr. Ricci 5$ anytime soon. He deffinately does not remind me of fuzzy-wuzzy bear, more like a sprinkler.

    Comment by concerned parent — October 12, 2007 @ 2:58 pm | Reply

  10. I heard, but am not sure if it is correct, that this bond, if approved, has no impact on the spending cap the state imposed the towns. That means they can charge us what we owe for the bond, in addition to the 5.5% cap amount on our taxes, which you know the school will take most of. Does this figure to be double digit increases in our taxes?

    Anyone in the know, is this correct?

    Comment by Lois Buck — October 13, 2007 @ 4:22 pm | Reply

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