We have just been informed that Superior Court has ruled in favor of the East Providence School Committee, saying that it had the authority to implement a pay cut and other changes to employee benefits for teachers in the absence of a contract. After the contract had expired Oct. 31, 2008, the school committee implemented a 5 percent pay cut, a 20 percent co-pay on health insurance, and eliminated cash bonuses, or buy-backs, for teachers who chose not to receive their health insurance from the school district. The Rhode Island chapter of the NEA initially appealed the issue to the state labor relations board. But after OSPRI produced research showing that the board ruled in favor of labor in 15 out of 19 major decisions in the previous three years, the NEA took the issue to the courts. Today’s decision is a major victory—not only for management rights, but also for taxpayers. We hope this helps to restore some balance to the enormously lopsided process of labor negotiations in this state.
NOTE: More information will be posted later as it becomes available.
UPDATE I: A copy of the decision has been posted on our homepage.
UPDATE II: The Providence Journal has come out with a story, available here.