The Rhode Island Supreme Court on Wednesday denied the Elorza administration’s request to suspend an upcoming arbitration hearing with the city’s firefighters while the justices take up a larger legal dispute between the two parties.
The one-page written decision means the city and the firefighters can proceed with a Dec. 16 arbitration hearing stemming from their dispute over how much the firefighters should be paid for going from working an average of 42 hours per week to an average of 56 hours.
The city was asking for the suspension, known as a stay, while the Supreme Court considers a lower court’s decision to begin arbitration.
Lawrence Holden Jr. is the arbitrator in the case. A Superior Court judge ruled in September that the city has the right to move from four fire platoons to three, but said the resulting adjustment to the firefighters’ compensation should be resolved through the grievance procedures laid out in their existing collective bargaining agreement.