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Union Vote on RI Pension Settlement Scheduled for Monday

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

 

The Rhode Island Public Employees Retiree Coalition (RIPERC) circulated an email to its members regarding a settlement agreement vote on pensions to take place on Monday, March 23. 

Retired Chief Justice Frank Williams was assigned "Special Master" by Judge Taft-Carter on March 6  to help prepare the groups for trial. RIPERC plaintiffs and attorneys met with Williams on March 10 to request enhancements to the original settlement agreement. According to RIPERC’s email, the state delivered its final settlement offer on March 13.
 
The email said the court-determined deadline to accept or reject the new agreement terms would not allow “the opportunity to conduct the full-scale membership mail balloting…that we anticipated.”
 
“The court’s recent decision to deny any further extensions for trial leave us with a limited window of opportunity for our last-best-chance for a settlement and no other alternative to seize this opportunity.”

The results of the vote will be calculated immediately and made available to all members of RIPERC within 24 hours. If a settlement is not reached, the case will go to trial on April 20.

Here is the email sent to members of the Rhode Island Public Employees Retiree Coalition in it’s entirety: 

Following our most recent court date on March 6, 2015, Judge Taft-Carter assigned retired Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court Frank Williams as a Special Master to assist plaintiffs and the defendants in the lawsuits to prepare for trial on April 20.  Plaintiffs’ attorneys met with the Judge and Special Master on March 9, and the Special Master met with our attorneys and plaintiffs representative leaders on Tuesday, March 10. Retired Chief Justice Williams presented the opportunity for each group to enhance the original settlement agreement. Each plaintiff group met with the Special Master to request enhancements. The Special Master scheduled a meeting for Friday, March 13 to deliver the state’s final offer.  Your leadership is recommending this agreement.  The Enhanced Settlement Agreement will be presented for a traditional ballot vote at the scheduled meeting.
 
We deeply regret that the court-ordered timeline to accept or reject the Enhanced Settlement Agreement will not provide us with the opportunity to conduct the full-scale membership mail balloting, a process that would take about three weeks, that we anticipated. Plaintiffs were able only to extend the given deadline of March 20th into the next week. The court’s recent decision to deny any further extensions for trial leave us with a limited window of opportunity for our last-best-chance for a settlement and no other alternative to seize this opportunity. Chief Justice Williams will explain the basis for the vote recommendation of RIPERC leadership and that of the leadership in RIPERC’s respective organizations at the meeting.
 
A summary of the proceedings, including Chief Justice Williams’ remarks, and the ballot results, which will be calculated immediately, will be provided to all members within 24 hours through our RIPERC LDF Newsletter network.

 

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