RI lawmakers revive binding arbitration bill


Rhode Island lawmakers have revived a proposal to give the state’s teachers binding arbitration rights that local leaders say would only add to their towns’ budget problems.

The House Labor Committee took up a bill on the issue Thursday evening. The Providence Journal reported that the legislation would expand binding arbitration for teachers to include wages and other financial matters and would cover non-teaching staff including janitors.

Providence state Rep. John McCauley Jr. submitted the bill, which is nearly the same as one that failed last year.

Rhode Island’s two teachers’ unions have been pushing for binding arbitration since a court ruling in 2010 gave East Providence school officials the authority to unilaterally impose new terms for teachers after the two sides failed to reach a new labor deal.

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