Warwick teachers continue pickets over lack of contract

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The Warwick Teachers’ Union gathered again outside of Warwick City Hall to picket in protest of their lack of a new contract. This is the second such demonstration this month, and this time they also drew the support of the Local 251 Teamsters union.

“Once again the Warwick Teachers’ Union is picketing City Hall because the mayor has failed to use his influence over the school committee and superintendent to get them to the bargaining table to reach a successor collective bargaining agreement [CBA],” said Darlene Netcoh, president of the Warwick Teachers’ Union, in a release.

Netcoh maintains that, despite Superintendent Thornton saying in a recent interview that the union was the one not responding to a request from the mayor to meet back at the negotiation table, these claims are not telling the full story.

“When the mayor last sent a letter to the parties, the union responded with an offer for specific dates to meet,” she continued in the release. “However, to prevent such a meeting from occurring, the school committee devised a way not to meet when they imposed ludicrous pre-conditions, such as demanding that negotiations be limited to one narrow issue and that the union drop all of its and arbitrations, which are the result of two years’ worth of violations of the CBA.”

Mayor Avedisian responded to the additional picket via email.

“The Warwick Teachers’ Union has every right to picket to draw attention to their positions,” he said. “I expect that interest arbitration processes will continue and there will be a written decision soon. Since the union was very clear that they want the process to be binding, I hope that they will accept the arbitrator’s ruling.”

Netcoh took another shot at Thornton in a follow-up message on Wednesday afternoon.

“I want to add, once again, that Phil Thornton goes to the Taj Mahal on Draper Avenue [referring to the Gorton Administration Building] and knows that he has the protection of a contract,” she said. “The teachers deserve no less.”

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Justanidiot

Too bad the teachers got their civics education in a Warwick classroom. They should find out how the system works.

Thursday, September 28
davebarry109

These idiot teachers are the main reason Warwick Real Estate is so depressed. The biggest draw for any family is a good school system. These teachers have been threatening and picketing for 30 years. Some of the highest paid part time workers in the country and they want more, more, more.

Thursday, September 28
richardcorrente

For years I have said that the Mayor should lock himself in a room with the Warwick Teachers Union (WTU) and the School Committee and not come out without a contract. I campaigned that I would do just that as Mayor. Now, I'm saying it again. As Mayor, I would not rest one day until we had a written signed contract. As Mayor, I will strongly suggest that all parties agree to meet with NO PRECONCEIVED IDEAS. As Mayor, I will strongly suggest that there be NO RESTRICTIONS ON TOPICS DISCUSSED. As Mayor, I will strongly suggest there be NO PRE-CONDITIONS required. As Mayor, this will be my number one priority above all others.

In the last election I asked the Warwick Teachers Union to endorse me. They didn't, even though they stated that I supported them more than anyone else ever has. They also agreed that Mayor Avedisian ...well...didn't... support them. In the upcoming election I will be asking again for the WTU's endorsement. Their choices, in my opinion, are simple. Endorse a candidate that supports negotiations and will use his "influence over the school committee and superintendent to get them to the bargaining table", or endorse no one (as in 2016) and enable Mayor Avedisian to continue doing to the Warwick teachers what he has been doing for years and years. They can endorse me or enable him. For the benefit of the remaining 9,000 students, (we used to have 17,000), I hope they endorse will me. 13,278 taxpayers already have. With the WTU on board, we can finally ink a new teachers contract and make our schools stable and attractive to new students again.

Happy Autumn everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Thursday, September 28
JohnStark

One wonders if the teachers' union realizes it is losing support with every one of these stunts. The average person, who's working, paying taxes, and hoping for the best for their kids in the Warwick public schools is becoming increasingly resentful of highly compensated (relatively) public servants who deliver an embarrassingly inferior product.

Thursday, September 28
PaulHuff

WTU can easily have a contract Mrs. Netoch. Stop asking for exorbitant raises and retro pay for years when you worked to rule. Nobody really believes the hold up is over class weighting and IEP's since you walked out over money last time.

Hopefully the arbitrator's decision is a wake up for you and your union. What you are asking for isn't worth the work your people provide. Warwick schools aren't doing a good job of educating kids.

Friday, September 29
Rascalion

I've been a resident of Warwick for the majority of my life. I attended Warwick Schools in the 90s. I own property in Warwick. Warwick runs in my blood. The state of the school system, the administration of the school, the inability of union and administration to reach a long term contract are all contributing factors to my serious consideration of leaving the city. My child when of age to attend school, will not be doing so in Warwick. Contract issues, aging/crumbling infrastructure, program cuts, etc.

All of these issues despite the school system accounting for over half of the city budget (FY2016)?

Friday, September 29
Kammy

WTU aren't fighting for a new contract. They are fighting to keep the old contract. Even though many of the issues they consider "near and dear" are only conducted that way in this city. The rest of the state does something different. I am automatically turned off from your "plight" when I see you want to maintain your 90 sick days a year, a salary increase and have the city pay 80% of your health care. Tell me, who in the world needs 90 sick days when you work under 200 days a year? I hope that we will finally have resolution with the interest arbitration process because most of us are immune to your picketing.

Friday, September 29
Justanidiot

teachers werk moor than 200 days. deys is jest paid for 180 daze

Friday, September 29
allent

Soon the supreme court will neuter these disgusting gov't unions once and for all.

Friday, September 29
patientman

Wow, looking at the comments the WTU has really lost the support of the public

Saturday, September 30
Thecaptain

Notwithstanding the fact that they are substantially overpaid for the under performing product that they render.

Saturday, September 30
EthanS

The Teachers in Warwick currently have extreme job protection. (Much better than private sector).They currently make over 42K to start for a 180 day ( not 240) work year. They currently pay no more than 20 percent towards their very good Health insurance.

They Union is not going to accept 18 days a year accumulating to 90 days as far as "sick" time goes. The Union is not interested in protecting their teachers with TDI as was offered because the teachers would have to pay 2 percent taken out of their paycheck like the rest of us do for this insurance. These facts are indisputable and published Mrs. Netcoh. You play on peoples lack of information because we are too busy working. We don't have time to picket. Teachers DO NOT deserve money for "working to rule" over the past two years. I believe you call it retro pay? The Teachers have been collecting their paycheck for doing the absolute minimum for the past 2 now 3 years. Stop the GREED. Asking for 3 percent "retro" pay for the past years for just showing up to work? Seriously ??

Sunday, October 1