Lawyers brief judge for 7th time on RI pension lawsuit talks

September 5th, 2013 at 6:39 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Lawyers briefed the Rhode Island judge overseeing a union lawsuit challenging the state’s 2011 pension overhaul for a seventh time Thursday about the progress of their court-ordered mediation to settle the suit.

Attorneys on both sides of the case met Thursday afternoon with R.I. Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter, who is handling the suit, court spokesman Craig Berke said. Last December, Taft-Carter ordered the state and the unions into a formal mediation process overseen by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

The status conference took place amid growing buzz in State House circles that Gov. Lincoln Chafee and Treasurer Gina Raimondo are moving toward a negotiated settlement of the pension suit, despite concerns expressed by Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed about whether a deal is the right move.

“We’re making progress on our pension negotiations, so we can stay out of litigation – expensive litigation – and [not] risk the possibility of losing a court case, which none of us want to do,” Chafee said Wednesday at the news conference where he announced he won’t seek a second term. “We’re making progress there.”

Taft-Carter has scheduled the next status conference for later this month, on Sept. 30 at 9 a.m. The previous six status conferences were held on Aug. 6, May 17, April 22, March 25, Feb. 28 and Feb. 1.

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10 Responses to “Lawyers brief judge for 7th time on RI pension lawsuit talks”

  1. John Oberle says:

    Just settle the damn thing or let the case go to court. This mediation is an expensive sideshow that allows the politicians and lawyers to further pad their wallets. There are different categories within the lawsuits being considered, i.e., active workers, retirees already retired before the change of the law. They cannot be considered the same. They are totally different.
    Union representatives for active workers cannot make binding agreements for retired workers.
    Union representatives for retired workers can only make binding agreements for retirees who chose to join retiree organizations. The thousands of retirees who are not members of retiree organizations involved in this mediation sham are not bound by any agreement reached. The possibility for a subsequent class action lawsuit on behalf of the retirees not represented by a union sponsored retiree organization is likely.

    1. Ed Worthley says:

      First I heard about retiree organizations Is it possible to get info on them if more then one ??

      Ed Worthley
      Green Valley AZ

  2. GaryM says:

    Pension reform was either legal, or it wasn’t. That’s what the lawsuit is all about.

    In case anyone has forgotten, there are three branches of government, and the judicial branch does not “make law”, it rules on what the law demands.

    Placing the parties into mediation on an up-or-down decision was a cop out by Judge Taft-Carter.

    1. snow says:

      Or, she realizes the state will lose big. She did the same thing in Providence and they had an airtight case as well. As a union member standing to lose under the new law, I don’t want mediation to pass, I want the lawsuit to proceed to the very end.

    2. Mary says:

      The judge will not rule on the “law”. She is another bought & paid for political hack, as are most of the judges in the RI system. There is no “law” in RI, it is all who you know.

  3. charles r says:

    Not to worry , as the private sector middle class leave the state, and the retired, public and private, the only middle class taxpayers left will the public sector workers. when that happens the solution will be simple. They can just pay each other their salaries, benefits and pensions. That will fix the problem.

    1. bencatrel says:

      When are you leaving?

  4. [...] praised Chafee … watch Chafee’s full press conference … Judge Taft-Carter got yet another update on the pension mediation … Providence’s streetcar proposal failed to win $39 million from the feds … Rhode [...]

  5. eatingdogfood says:

    CA CHING, CA CHING, CA CHING! YEAH, IT MUST BE THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN! My Union Boss down at the Town Hall emailed me yesterday and.
    Told me that this article was hitting the Papers today, and He told Me.
    to make it Look like I was Working till this Blows Over in a week. I
    know the routine! In a week, I’ll be back to my usual activity of.
    Collecting A Paycheck for Doing Nothing! Hey, Private Sector.
    Workers; You really gotta Pony Up more Taxes! I need at least a 10 %.
    raise! My Cabin Cruiser at the Dock behind my Vacation House in.
    Florida needs a New Engine. My wife has been after me for a new car.
    She wants a BMW X6 G-Power Typhoon S! I told her I can’t afford that.
    car. So then she says she will accept a Mercedes-Benz CL-Class and.
    Nothing else! I also got Private School Tuition of $ 40,000.00 due.
    in September. I got Credit Card Expenses coming out my AXX! That
    new 3000 sq ft extension on my house raised my property taxes $ 15,000.
    The maid and the housekeeper want raises. The gardener also wants a.
    raise. You see Bunky; It ain’t easy in the Public Sector! So come
    on Private Sector Worker; Pony Up and Pay More Taxes so I can afford to.
    live here! You See; Life Is Not Fair, and the DemoRats will take.
    care of Everything! HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN!

  6. Al Moncrief says:

    Columnist Josh Barro:

    “Now, Chafee says he was the voice of caution: ‘We got a little too aggressive. The treasurer was very aggressive, I was more, ‘we need buy-in, avoid litigation.’”

    “This would repeat a pattern that we’ve often seen in state level pension reforms — a law that looks like it will produce big cost savings gets unwound years later for political or legal reasons.”

    “As the interview ended, Chafee remarked, ‘I’ll have to think a little more about Josh’s question’ — the one about why you can freeze COLAs but can’t default on 38 Studios.”

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