Chariho School Parents’ Forum

January 2, 2009

EPSC cuts crap

Filed under: contract negotiations,Unions — Editor @ 10:29 pm

The East Providence School Committee cuts right to the chase issuing a press release today that tells the union, like it or not, big changes are coming. 

In EP, the Committee has been holding tough to the fact that changes much be made.  The unions can no longer expect half their members to recieve double digit raises and other benefits unheard of in the private sector.

The Committee started this session by refusing to hold the meeting in executive sessions.  The union said no, but the school committee said “Tough – We aren’t hiding the info.’ 

I think the wave of public support is showing their strategy to be correct.  When the public knows what deals are being proposed, they have no sympathy when the unions threaten to strike.

Today they issued a statement rejecting the results of the interest arbitration and have put the union on notice that they intend to unilaterally impliment new items which includes rolling back a 5% raise, going from 0% to 20% copays and eliminating the buy backs.

Contract be damned.  Do you think our Committee has that kind of courage? 


Letter to union epsc_ltr_woolley_1-2-091



  1. Like I’ve said before, if the NEA feels there contracts are substandard and their members are being treated unfairly, then why not air the details and let the chips fall. Certainly the taxpayers will see the deplorable conditions the school staff is subjected to and come to their aid and set the SC on the correct course.
    Then again, maybe they do not want the public to be aware the apples being given to the teachers are solid gold.

    Comment by RS — January 2, 2009 @ 10:38 pm | Reply

  2. It’s sad that we are in this situation, it means that busnesses are suffering and people are losing their jobs

    I don’t know what a fair teacher salary and benefit plan looks like, but I do know that the EP contract changes look a lot like what I currently have. The health benefits look particularly more like the private sector. The days of health buy backs and double coverage are over.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — January 3, 2009 @ 12:17 am | Reply

  3. My company will charge me a premium if my spouse is eligible for health benefits from her employer and chooses to be on my benefits. This is a company with $14 billion in sales and over 45,000 employees. Not exactly a small player in the employment arena, and they maintain over 12,0000 resumes of people desiring a job.
    Yep, the real world is vastly different from the sheltered lifestyle of quasi-government monopolies.

    Comment by RS — January 3, 2009 @ 12:34 am | Reply

  4. No…the majority of our School Committee don’t have the courage to explain to their families and friends why they can’t give them double digit raises and ridiculous benefit packages. The majority of our School Committee think of Chariho as an employment vehicle for their loved ones.

    Courage? They are a bunch of cowards who attempt to illegally get rid of any School Committee member who does have courage to stand up for the community and our children. The court has temporarily put a crimp in their plans, but they are still the majority and will keep enriching adults at the expense of children. Voters need to wake up.

    Comment by Curious Resident — January 3, 2009 @ 2:47 am | Reply

  5. Did you hear that Stonington’s Superintendent decided there were not going to be any raises this year? That was impressive. It takes a man to be a Superintendent of a School District to make decisions for the benefit of the school district and its students and not for the benefit of themselves.

    Comment by ON STANDBY — January 3, 2009 @ 10:09 pm | Reply

  6. It also appears he is transparent and open enough to have a public blog. Although the number of comments are very few. This means the system does a good job and everyone is happy, or the level of apathy compares to our own.

    Comment by RS — January 3, 2009 @ 10:36 pm | Reply

  7. Wow…the superintendent doesn’t run from the public. He explains his thinking and lets the chips fall where they may. Pretty impressive…the exact opposite of Mr. Ricci who goes to great lengths to hide from the public. Perhaps if the School Committee ever puts children first and cans Mr. Ricci, we can get a superintendent with the courage of his convictions.

    Comment by Curious Resident — January 3, 2009 @ 11:58 pm | Reply

  8. It’s all well and good to blame the school comm.-and they deserve the whipping- but, there’s no one in line to take their place, and the same people giving out the goodies keep getting re-elected. So what do the taxpayers do?

    Comment by JF — January 6, 2009 @ 3:31 pm | Reply

  9. Well if the bond vote is any indication, the taxpayers will keep their heads buried in the sand and chant, “for the children, for the children”.

    I’m not sure what to do about a community which continues to feed the massive appetite of a failing school system. I guess we keep plugging along here and hope more and more people become aware of what their votes mean.

    There is some reason for optimism as Ms. Carney, Mr. Vecchio, Mr. Abbot, and Mr. Felkner all seem to recognize the status quo shouldn’t continue. Maybe we’ll finally see change in an election cycle or two. Or maybe the taxpayers will continue to be asleep at the switch. As for me, I’ll keep exploring ways to get the heck out of this community.

    Comment by Curious Resident — January 6, 2009 @ 3:48 pm | Reply

  10. So what do the taxpayers do?

    Educate the populous as to what the heck is going on…..isn’t that one of the functions of this blog.

    There is a simple reason why the SC doesn’t want transparency, openness, and accountability. Not everyone can or will attend SC meetings, but if the information were publicly available, then more people would be knowledgeable about it. Knowledge is power.

    Comment by RS — January 6, 2009 @ 4:04 pm | Reply

  11. I’m starting to think it’s not “apathy” in our town, just lack of attention. How many voters are left after:

    1. Eliminate those who don’t have kids in Chariho. So if the economy’s good, the taxes don’t hurt so much.
    2. Eliminate the parents of K-4, elementary doesn’t seem to be the problem.
    3. Eliminate the parents who work two jobs, or work a lot of hours (doesn’t matter if it’s blue or white collar), they probably don’t have enough time to pay attention.
    4. Eliminate the parents who would be too intimidated to complain, not so many people are confident enough to challenge the status quo.

    And many more classes … then consider the ability of the establishment to advertise and direct the agenda, paint it in a favorable light … I can see a lot of people buying into it. No-one actually wants to believe that their are conflicts and biases that keep elected officials doing the right thing.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — January 6, 2009 @ 4:18 pm | Reply

  12. Don’t forget me, I wasn’t able to vote on the budget because there is not absantee voter process in place for the referendum. So some of us are informed, but do not have a mechanism to vote.
    Same goes for those who are aborad defending our right to vote, they are denied the same right.

    I will grant you the numbers are small for absantee folks, but if 1 person who wants to vote is denied their right because there is not a mechanism in place, this is wrong.

    Comment by RS — January 6, 2009 @ 4:57 pm | Reply

  13. I agree with you whole heartedly RS…there should be an absentee process for Chariho votes. I wonder if this would have to be done by the town or the district. If it is the town, you have a chance…but if it is Chariho, you’ll probably never see it.

    Gene I can only wonder why voters would even allow themselves to not pay attention to spending millions of dollars? How can anyone be so cavalier about millions of dollars? My personal rule, mostly happens with state bond issues, is to vote no for any government spending unless I’ve done the research and I am confident it is a justified expense. There aren’t very many justified expenses, so I almost always vote no on spending. I wish there were more voters like me…if you don’t know, then vote no…or don’t vote at all.

    Comment by Curious Resident — January 6, 2009 @ 5:17 pm | Reply

  14. I’ve been told the Town Charter would have to be changed which leads me to believe this would be a town issue.
    I tried to find the voter turnout data for 2008, but doesn’t appear to be on the state website. Only past years. I’m sure the turnout is much greater in Presidential years so getting the bond vote in this last election was helpful for its passage. Remember, its for the kids.

    Comment by RS — January 6, 2009 @ 6:31 pm | Reply

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