Pawtucket demands too much from AFSCME

A union representing municipal employees in Pawtucket (RI) is balking at the city's proposals to balance the budget. AFSCME local president Augie Venice says negotiators have told him they need 60 layoffs, a two-year wage freeze, a 20 percent employee health plan contribution and 12 unpaid furlough days per worker to overcome the city's financial crisis. Venice calls those demands unacceptable.

He says the union might be willing to consider some concessions if the city council ratifies the three-year contract negotiated by the administration of Mayor James Doyle, but rejected by the council last year.

Harvey Goulet, Doyle's director of administration, says the concessions are only necessary if there are no tax increases.

The city has proposed a $108.8-million budget with a 2.9-percent tax increase.


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