It bears pointing out that the retroactive raises awarded to Providence firefighters were the outcome of binding abitration. So keep that in mind as the General Assembly once again is set to consider a law that would require binding arbitration for public school contracts, as is now the case with police officers and firefighters. After OSPRI released research showing that this would put as much as $543 million in education spending under the control of an unelected, third party abitrator, the idea died a quick and quiet death in the October legislative session. But now it has re-surfaced. There are a lot of reasons to oppose binding arbitration for teacher contracts and absurdities like retroactive raises is just one more.
UPDATE: In the print edition of The Providence Journal, a city councilor claims the deal arranged by the arbitrator is good for taxpayers because the firefighters also have to make retroactive payments to the health insurance. Apparently this is the first time they have had to pay for their health insurance. Well, they should have already been doing this. So, if this is a ‘victory,’ then it just goes how far we have to go to restore some common sense to the public employee contracts.