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R.I. State Workers Win 7.5% Raises

April 28, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

PROVIDENCE, R.I.—Rhode Island’s largest state employee union said Apr. 18 that it has reached a tentative contract agreement with Gov. Gina Raimondo’s administration that would raise workers’ pay by 7.5% over three years. If it’s ratified by American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees Council 94, the 3,800 and 4,000 state employees the union represents would get a 2% raise retroactive to last January, 2.5% in January 2019, 2% in July 2019, and 1% in January 2020. The proposal would freeze the percentage of their salary that workers have to pay for their health-insurance premiums, but increase copayments and double deductibles, from $250 to $500 for individuals and $500 to $1,000 for families. Council 94 President J. Michael Downey told the Providence Journal that the health-care increases were worth it because they are likely to save the state money, and that the deal mirrors those the state has reached with the coalition that includes the Laborers, Service Employees International Union Local 580, and the National Education Association of Rhode Island. He said Council 94’s 30 locals plan ratification votes within the next two weeks. The state has not yet appropriated funds to pay for the retroactive increases. Read more

April 28, 2018

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