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RI Taxpayers Urges Labor Comm to Reject Binding Arbitration for Teachers

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


RI Taxpayers organization (formerly RISC) is urging members of the House Committee on Labor to reject the legislation that would extend binding arbitration rights to teacher contracts.

RI Taxpayers President Ken Block and RI Taxpayers lobbyist Lisa Blais both testified at a hearing on H-5340.

“Going to the arbitration process for teacher contracts presents a very threatening scenario for local communities at a time when they can least afford oversized contract demands that could be forced by outside arbitrators,” said Block. He is the founder of the Moderate Party and run for Governor in 2010.

“Binding Arbitration creates an end run around taxpayers—and local officials—who would lose control of contracts to outside decision makers who are not accountable to the local community,” said Block, “Reaching from Woonsocket to West Warwick, we are seeing local budgets at breaking points, and enacting this bill would only speed the pace at which certain cities and towns may reach insurmountable deficits. We urge that this legislation be rejected once and for all.”

RI Taxpayers Lobbyist Lisa Blais called it a bill that is against the best interests of local communities, specialized school programs, and students--as well as local taxpayers. “Providing for binding arbitration on fiscal matters in our public school system will result in a one-way ratchet up on across-the-board compensation packages. When this happens, it is likely that student programs deemed ‘unnecessary’ will be cut or severely diminished – that is not in the best interest of any student in our state. Furthermore, enacting this bill would result in higher pressure on cities and towns to demand increased revenues to meet the arbitrators’ contract rulings – and that is not in the best interest of taxpayers.”



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