By Dee DeQuattro, WPRO News
Providence Mayor Angel Taveras has weighed in on the pension debate saying he thinks Governor Chafee is right to try to negotiate with union leadership outside of court.
“The Governor I think is taking a very reasonable step and that is to engage in negotiations and discussions. It does not mean that you have to settle. You won’t settle if it doesn’t make sense for the tax payers but the idea that you won’t talk to them at all, to me it doesn’t make any sense,” said Taveras.
The unions have mounted a legal challenge to the 2011 pension reform bill. Chafee said that he is meeting with union leaders to discuss possible ways to resolve the pension dispute outside of court.
On Wednesday, General Treasurer Gina Raimondo criticized the governor for negotiating with the unions saying “it is not the time for closed door meetings,” and that the issue should be resolved in court.
Speaker of the House Gordon Fox agreed saying the time for negotiations is over.
Taveras said that the Governor really has nothing to lose by negotiating. “You can always end it by saying I will see you in court,” said Taveras.
Taveras said this is something that is common in litigation noting that the city of Providence was able to negotiate with unions outside of court. “Here in the city of Providence you learned that you sit down, you talk, and you listen to people, you might be surprised at how much you can accomplish,” said Taveras.
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