Community Calendar

Community Artists Program
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Charlestown

Wild About Reading
10:30 a.m. - Noon Charlestown

Preschool Story Hour
11 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. Carolina

Mah Jongg
12:30 p.m. - 4 p.m. Charlestown

Quilting Group
1 p.m. - 3 p.m. Charlestown

... View all of today's events

Stay Connected

Mediation in R.I. pension lawsuits fails

PROVIDENCE (AP) — Talks to salvage a proposed settlement designed to end the legal fight over Rhode Island’s 2011 pension overhaul have failed and the original court challenge is moving ahead.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo said the settlement agreement failed “due to a small group of union members.” They called it “disappointing and frustrating.”

Public-sector unions and retirees had sued over the state’s 2011 pension-overhaul law, and the proposed settlement was an attempt to resolve the litigation. Six groups had to approve the settlement, and five — including teachers, retirees and firefighters — did. But the plaintiffs said last week that police union members had rejected it. Judge Sarah Taft-Carter ordered continued mediation.

“While we are disappointed this settlement was not ultimately able to come to fruition, we continue to believe that the pension changes enacted by our General Assembly are constitutional, the state has strong legal arguments to support its positions and will begin to prepare for litigation,” Chafee and Raimondo said in a joint statement.

A trial is scheduled for September.

The pension law, a model for other states seeking to rein in pension costs, was designed to save Rhode Island $4 billion over the next 20 years.

The proposed settlement offered retirees a modest pension increase of $500 and additional future increases sooner than the current law allows. It preserved most of the other sweeping changes approved by lawmakers.

The plaintiffs said Friday the state ended the mediation.

“The plaintiffs abided by the judge’s order to explore a path to a new settlement agreement, but the state decided it would rather pursue costly and drawn-out litigation rather than reach a reasonable agreement to guarantee stability and predictability to the pension system,” said spokesman Ray Sullivan. “We are now prepared to take the necessary steps in proceeding to trial.”

Debbie Rich, a spokeswoman for Chafee, said the state wouldn’t comment “on the substance of the mediation.”

Back to State
Top Stories of the Week

Woman dies in Post Road crash …
WESTERLY — A 64-year-old woman died Monday after the car she was driving crossed the center line on Route 1, struck a stone wall and … more ...

Police identify victim of Route 1 crash …
WESTERLY — The woman who died following a one-car accident on Route 1 Monday morning has been identified as Linda Roy of Flintlock Drive in … more ...

Body of missing Stonington woman found at Rocky Neck State …
EAST LYME, Conn. — The body of a missing 48-year-old Stonington woman was discovered during a search of Rocky Neck State Park on Wednesday, officials … more ...

Thanksgiving Day rivalry game is really a week-long event …
If there’s a time of year when Melanie Goggin has to play it cool, it’s now. Her ice cream shop, Mel’s Downtown Creamery, sits on … more ...

Court is asked to order tax cuts …
WESTERLY — Twelve Watch Hill property owners say their tax assessments are excessive and are asking a Superior Court judge to order the town to … more ...