Rhode Island News

Friday, August 23, 2019

Warwick appeals ruling on firefighters’ pension

It appears the courts will have the final say as to whether firefighters hired on or after July 1, 2012, are members of the city’s Tier II pension plan, as are city municipal employees and police hired of that date, or whether they are members of the more lucrative pension plan of their veteran co-workers. It has been estimated including 44 firefighters in the richer of the two pension plans could cost taxpayers an additional $2.6 million. In June, the city filed suit in Superior Court contesting an arbitration ruling in favor of Warwick Firefighters Local 2748. The ruling found that in spite of an ordinance establishing the Tier II plan – which was approved by the City Council in May 2011 – the plan was not included in the firefighters’ collective bargaining agreement and is therefore inapplicable. In its appeal of the arbitration award made in March, the city argues firefighters failed of follow the deadline to grieve implementation of Tier II and that the “arbitrators’ award was irrational, in excess of their authority, and rendered in manifest disregard of the contract, applicable law and public policy.”
Warwick Beacon

Thursday, August 22, 2019

North Kingstown: Split Council OKs $100K estimate for repairs to fire boat

The town’s rescue fire boat has been out of service for the last several months, purportedly leaving many lives in jeopardy because of the fire department’s inability to respond to a crisis on the water, according to Fire Chief Scott Kettelle. “The risk is apparent,” the chief said after reciting a number of potential problems that could develop into more serious issues if the town doesn’t rescue from drydock its own boat — which needs a $100,000 engine replacement. The boat, which went into service in 2014, originally cost almost $700,000 and was funded through a U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant. One of two engines has seized, but both need to be replaced for the boat and firefighting operations to work properly, the chief explained. The town council on Tuesday voted 3-2 to fund the repairs, but not before strong opposition from council members Kerry McKay and Richard Welch. Both were concerned about North Kingstown taxpayers footing the bill rather than seeking out money from other sources, such as federal and state government funds.
Rhode Island Independent

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