Chariho School Parents’ Forum

October 29, 2008

Open Sessions for Contract Negotiations

Filed under: 1 — Editor @ 12:01 am

In Monday’s Providence Journal there was a report that the East Providence School Committee wanted to hold the contract negotiations in public sessions (yippy!).  Predictably, the NEA refused.  The article is here.

After reading that I sent an email to every school committee member I could find an email for (which is about all of them) and asked them if they support the move.  Within an hour 8 responded positively so I wrote a press release co-signed by them.

The ProJo will be reporting on this PR in the morning’s paper – or see it here early.

PS. NO Chariho SC member responded to my inquiry.
PSS. The RI Association of Scholars issued a survey to their members today.
PSSS. Someone from that original email reported my email address to Cox as a spammer.



  1. Saw the article in todays paper/Journal, Douglas Roth and Renee Cockerill of north kingstown were two of the local committee members that signed on. Hats off to them.

    Comment by James Hirst — October 29, 2008 @ 4:30 pm | Reply

  2. I’ll be signing on as well, I just have to wait until Nov 4th.

    Comment by RS — October 29, 2008 @ 4:56 pm | Reply

  3. ProJO article about the West Warwick School Committee, many similarities to our struggles. Simple solution….open negotiations and the public would be informed and up to date and better able to give the school committee a stick to use during contract negotiations.

    Comment by RS — October 30, 2008 @ 2:20 pm | Reply

  4. Warwick’s School Committee sued the ciy to fund their budget. The city settled with an agreement from the School Committee that the teacher contract would be revisited. Sounds like Warwick’s School Committee has the same habit of enriching school employees to the detriment of the community. Guess they are similar to our situation.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 30, 2008 @ 6:00 pm | Reply

  5. seems like more and more people are finding that Mr. Felkenr has a personal agenda that isn’t fitting to all except CR and RS.

    Chariho Parent pointed out to MR. Felkner that he was not posting both arguments of the bonds. Mr. Felkenr tried to say he missed the arguments for the bond. Funny how every posting is just those against the bond. TRansparency goes both ways , Mr. Felkenr is a fraud. He tries to make it sound like he is all for the tax payers and the parents, he is not and doesn’t do anything to help any of them. If he did he would be transparent in all phases of his argument. Read this post from a Tiverton School Commoittee memeber, WHY WASNT THIS SHARED WITH EVERYONE? I will tell you why; It didn’t meet Felkners agenda, someone didnt agree with his view so he WONT post it. TRANSPARENCY????????????????WHERE???????? LOL only when it fits your needs I guess.

    Mr. Felkner:

    Are you seeking input to this question truly as a member of your school committee and simply wanting to bring information back to your fellow members? Or are you asking this as the Executive Director of the very conservative Ocean State Policy Research Institute. If it is the latter, I find it quite ironic that, as the leader of an organization that supposedly wants transparency in government, you don’t think you should also be transparent in informing recipients of this email on how you plan to use this information. It is also interesting that you used the RIASC email list and added a conservative radio talk show host, Dan Yorke, to the recipient list, again without being forthright – and transparent – with the others who are on this because they chose to be put on it with RIASC as a way to communicate with each other, share ideas and find effective ways to positively address the difficult issues each of our committees and districts face.

    As for you question, I chose to respond to RIASC’s much more transparent and frankly more in-depth survey. Feel free to get the results from Tim Duffy after they tabulate them for all of us who respond.

    Oh, and by the way, Tiverton has been at the forefront of addressing the financial problems our Districts and communities face. If you didn’t know, we’ve been in negotiations for almost 2 years now with our local NEA affiliate, we’ve openly shared our positions with the community when we’ve felt doing so wouldn’t jeopardize our negotiating position (which has been often – I’ve even shared these with your counterpart at anchorrising – Justin Katz – even though politically he and I are on opposite sides of the world), we’ve held fast to fairly conservative salary and benefit positions (including moving from a flat dollar share of the premium by our teachers to a percentage based share of the premium which will likely double the amount they pay while also looking at increasing co-pays on other medical costs). So I guess folks who for the most moderates and even liberals can also be fiscally responsible officials.

    Comment by CR 2 — October 31, 2008 @ 12:43 pm | Reply

  6. Mr. Felkner has stated that the letters he has posted were emailed to him. I doubt he is typing in each letter so that makes sense. I assume Mr. Felkner has the ability to limit comments here, so anything posted, whether by him or by anyone else is done so with his implicit permission. Even the post above from CR 2 is proof of Mr. Felkner’s tolerance for all points of view. In other words, CR 2 premise is faulty from the get go and they are talking out their backside.

    The issues in regard to Chariho’s mismanagement is neither liberal nor conservative. While liberals appear to be more tolerant of government spending, a number of those opposing Chariho’s lack of transparency and accountabilty are self-identified democrats. Conversely, two of the worst Chariho apologists, Mr. Day and Mr. Polouski, run as republicans. They are proof positive that republicans can be fiscally irresponsible and idiots to boot.

    I don’t know much about RIASC (I think it stands for Rhode Island Association of School Committees?), but based on Rhode Island’s track record of having among the most generous school employee compensation packages in the United States, I wouldn’t be too proud of any organizations which represents the people who have given away the store to government unions. Like most governmental and quasi-governmental organizations in Rhode Island, I wouldn’t be surprised to discover RIASC is another group in the pockets of the unions.

    We know here at Chariho, many, if not most, of the School Committee members have family and friend connections to the school. The end result is decisions are made to the benefit of adults rather than our children. I suspect this corrupt dynamic is true of many School Committees in Rhode Island.

    CR 2 probably could care less about Chariho. They seem to have a stick up their behind about Mr. Felkner. Perhaps he’s upset the powers that be at the state level too? If so, good job. Rhode Island is a big mess and it will take people like Mr. Felkner if we have any hope of cleaning it up. We need more Mr. Felkners.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 31, 2008 @ 1:06 pm | Reply

  7. Another NEA lackie throwing spears, but not offering any alternate letters, why not just post them up yourself, like I did the response I got from Ricc, and Rep. Kennedy??? Its simple folks, BF to my knowledge has never blocked a post…if you know otherwise, bring the facts. I just can’t believe the NEA supporters aren’t better educated on how to debate. No wonder our school system is only 1/3 proficient.

    Comment by RS — October 31, 2008 @ 1:37 pm | Reply

  8. Funny isn’t it. The fact the fool’s post went right up negates the first two paragraphs of their tirade.

    Over on RichmondRINews, the moderator explained that first time posts require approval. Once approved, future posts for the same IP address are automatically approved. Assuming this website works the same way, CR 2 either had his rant approved by Mr. Felkner OR they are a fraud and have posted here before under a different screen name.

    Either way, the mere existence of their nonsensical attack is proof of Mr. Felkner’s willingness to publicize all points of view. Smart move by Mr. Felkner…if this is the best they have to offer it helps the cause to let the idiots be heard.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 31, 2008 @ 1:50 pm | Reply


    This is an open call for you to put up or shut up. Why are you so afraid to open your contract to the ones that pay your salary…the taxpayer. We are not devils or evil, if you are so poorly funded and neglected as you claim, then we can help you get the rewards you deserve. On the other hand, maybe you have something to hide…..peek a boo we see you. If you are proud of what you do and the record you have, show us, make us feel like heels for wanting openness, transparency, responsibility. If these traits are already present in the school system and we are wrong or misled by some “saviour” then show us the facts, bring it to us and let us make our own decisions, please, please help us to see what we don’t know and why we are so misled. If there is nothing to hide but abysmal contracts and poverty wages, then show us so we can go to bat for you guys and get you what you deserve. If you can’t do this then YOU are part of the problem, and we can only assume you have something to hide, or you have a total lack of respect for the taxpayers in your community. PLEASE WE NEED HELP SO WE CAN HELP YOU DO YOUR JOBS TO THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITY.

    Comment by RS — October 31, 2008 @ 1:53 pm | Reply

  10. As far as I know, the first post I made was awaiting moderator approval, then all subsequent went right through. I belive you can even use any name(RS,CP,CR2,etc) as long as you do not change your mail address. I do not know this for a fact since I do not play games with changing names, I simply stick with my initials for my name like I have from day 1 of this blog.

    Simple people make simple excuses….that’s the way it is.

    Comment by RS — October 31, 2008 @ 2:01 pm | Reply

  11. In response to #8, it’s an administrator option if you want first time postings by a user to be reviewed first. It can also be set so that all posting have to be reviewed or it can be set so that specific users have to have their posts reviewed first (An option that I use for only two posters so far). Or you can just let every post show. I’m not sure how Bill has it set.

    Comment by richmondrinews — October 31, 2008 @ 2:35 pm | Reply

  12. Can he remove unwanted posts regardless of settings or once here they are permanent? If he can remove them, I’ve never seen it. So to claim he only allows one side to be heard is ludicrous.

    Thanks fo the info RichmondRINews.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 31, 2008 @ 2:51 pm | Reply

  13. Thanks for the info RichmondRINews. I would be dissapointed to find that BF censors any posts, but if that was the case, I would simply go to and set up my own blog for the taxpayers to freely post on. Why others don’t do this if they feel censorship is taking place is beyond me. I think “some” people do not want transparency, and accountability so they simply attack the messengers. I am still waiting on proof of the false information BF has been posting on this site. I think this is the the 3rd or 4th time I posted a request for this.

    Comment by RS — October 31, 2008 @ 3:09 pm | Reply

  14. In response to #5, I noticed the poster never asked BF if he was seeking input based on being a TAXPAYER. Isn’t it funny how the NEA diregards the TAXPAYER.
    Actually it isn’t funny, but is very indicative of the attitudes prevalent of the entire educational system and the employees of government run programs in general. I realize I did make a broad generalization, and I do realize there are many exceptions.

    Comment by RS — October 31, 2008 @ 3:17 pm | Reply

  15. Im opposed to the bond so obviously Im not going to go out of my way to promote someone elses OPINIONS. Opinions dont need transparency – transparency is for facts and public information. I could care less what a few people, especially school committee members who have conflicts of interest, think.

    But if you look back to last Nov you will see that when Petit or McQuade emailed and asked me to post something, I did.

    And CR2 didn’t post the response to that post either. But its nice to see this blog getting such attention. I suppose you have also heard the “open sessions for contract negotiations” is still in the news. We know it upsets the pro-union folk but you might as well get used to it – the party is over!

    Comment by Bill Felkner — October 31, 2008 @ 3:22 pm | Reply

  16. CR, I don’t moderate messages. I’m lucky if I have time to read 1/2 of the comments

    Comment by Bill Felkner — October 31, 2008 @ 3:23 pm | Reply

  17. I didn’t figure you were filtering post. More whining by those who don’t like you bringing public attention to the problems with local and state government.

    By the way, if you’re only able to read half, don’t bother with mine since I have about half of them.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 31, 2008 @ 3:54 pm | Reply

  18. […] Filed under: 1 — Bill Felkner @ 10:11 pm We saw this boil up about a week ago, and the battle […]

    Pingback by A battle you shouldn’t miss « Chariho School Parents’ Forum — November 10, 2008 @ 10:12 pm | Reply

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