Making Rhode Island public schools great for every child!
Posted: Join NEARI, the RIFT, the faith community, and the public as we honor and remember the victims of Newtown and what educators do every day. The event is from 6-7, this Friday at the West Warwick Civic Center. We will have a local high school band, singers a few speeches and most importantly honor the...

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Posted: The judge ordered mediation today in the cases regarding the pension lawsuits. Mediation will be handled by a team from Federal Mediation Services and she expects a report back by February 1. If an agreement is not reached, the trial is scheduled to start on or about May 20, 2013.
Posted: Members are deeply concerned, frustrated and overwhelmed by the demands placed on them by RIDE, especially with the development of SLOs (Student Learning Objectives). With the Rhode Island federation of Teachers and Health Professionals, we have an online petition asking RIDE to slow the process down...

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Posted: NEARI will be joining with several other unions in court tomorrow on the pension lawsuits. The judge is scheduled to rule on the state's motion to dismiss; we expect the case will continue and a full blown court hearing will be scheduled for late spring/early summer of 2013. In the meantime there is...

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Posted: A great job this morning by the NK ESP as they sent a message to the school committee that firing custodians, outsourcing their jobs and forcing them to take a 30% salary reduction is unacceptable. They stood up for themselves in the attack on the group representing the latest paid employees in the district....

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Posted: Negotiations continued until about 10:45 when the school committee team left because they were tired and your team was forced to leave despite making a committment to stay all night. The Superintendent refused to call off school until he saw some time of action; if he reads this he will know exactly...

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Posted: If school not called off, report to your building, 45 minutes prior to start time, ready to march and picket.

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Posted: There was no settlement reached so if the superindentent does not call off school, report 45 minutes prior to the start time to your school and bring signs if you have them. For example, the high school starts at 7:15 so report at 6:30. Members of your negotiating team will be at the buildings, starting...

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Posted: Negotiations continued until about 10:45 when the school committee negotiating team left because they said they were tired. Your team was committed to staying all night. We were forced to leave and suggested the superintendent should call off school but he said he would wait until there was action. If...

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Posted: Cash Mob, June 1 in Newport at 4 pm. Bring your colleagues, family and friends to Long Wharf Mall on Marlborough Street for the next Unions Buy Local cash mob. Plenty of stores, resturants, bars, etc. Enjoy the afternoon and evening in Newport and spread the word that union members buy local and support...

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Posted: Union members are a vital part of every city and town's economic growth. We want to make small businesses aware of how key we are to their stability and encourage everyone of you to support them by buying local. The "Unions Buy Local" campaign is a way to show this; every time you shop, give a union buck in support of the local economy. It is easy and it is up to you to help spread the message.

...

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Posted: Join NEARI, AFT and other union members from Mother's Day weekend through Father's Day to show support for local businesses and how much public employees mean to the local economy. Each weekend we will be visiting different communities with cash mop events, but that doesn't prevent you from using "union...

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Posted: The Treasurer is holding a scheduled pension meeting for teachers today, 4:30- 6:30 at Martin Middle School in East providence. The next one will be for MERS General Employees on April 5, 4:30- 6:30, at the South Kingstown Town Council Chambers.

Last week, Frank Karpinski, Director of the Retirement...

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Posted: The General Treasurer's first "education" session on the pension changes is this Wednesday, March 7 from 4:30-6:30 at Cranston High School East and is for State Employees.
Posted: A hearing on the cost of Higher Education is scheduled for this Wednesday, February 15, 6:30-8 PM at CCRI in Newport; Room 200. The special legislative commission is interested in ideas from students, faculty and staff on ways to make higher education more cost friendly and available to additional Rhode...

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Posted: 1. Contact your rep and senator and tell them to correct the pension bill and finally pass binding arbitration. Let me say this again to them' "NO TRADE OFF, DO BOTH."2. Call the Treasurer with your pension questions, she pushed the bill, now she and her staff should be answering the questions. Tell...

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Posted: NEARI released a press release last week and President Purtill was on the Buddy show asking where the General Treasurer was now that the pension bill passed. Purtill said she needs to set up a procedure and meet with members directly so they can get their questions answered. A hot line, as Buddy supported,...

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Posted: NEARI has set up a series of regional meetings for members to discuss the pension changes passed recently in to law and to discuss next steps. (Those were sent to you by an all member email last week.) The meetings this week are as follows;

Tuesday, December 6 at South Kingstown High School, 4:30...

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Posted: There will be an all member email shortly regarding last night's pension vote with a much more detailed response on Monday. Understand that there will be a legislative, political and legal response. Don't let your rep or Senator try to use the argument that they had no choice; they had one. We offered...

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Posted: There is still time to call your rep and senator before tomorrow's vote. Tell them to support Rep. Flaherty and Senator Tassoni's amendmends. (See yesterday's blog posting for details.) Come to the State House tomorrow to show support for these and your opposition to the Governor's anD Treasurer's bill....

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Posted: The vote in the House and Senate is Thursday; your last chance to call your rep and senator and voice your opinion. Tell them to support raising the COLA cap to $35,000 and instituting it for all after the 5 year freeze. Base the sliding scale for retirement on age 65, not age 67 and support a continuous...

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Posted: Last night the House and Senate Finance committees passed the revised pension bill. The vote in the House and Senate is scheduled for this coming Thursday. The bill did make some changes but more are needed to make this fairer. For most active members it appears the age will be phased in on a proportional...

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Posted: Rally today at the State House for your retirement security. Join with union members from around the state to rally for fair and responsible changes to the pension system. Check with your local president as many have arranged buses. There will be two leaving from NEARI in Cranston at 3:30 and two at...

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Posted: Join with 30,000 of your union colleagues from across the state in participating in a tele-town hall at 7 PM for the latest on the pension bill and the rally next Tuesday. You will be getting a robo call reminder this evening around 7 as well. If we do not have your current phone number, get it to us...

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Posted: Come join your union colleagues from across the state as they descend on the State House next Tuesday, November 8 for a rally to protest the draconian changes to the pension system put forth by the Governor and Treasurer. The rally will be from 3:30-5:30 with the second hour being the speaking program....

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Posted: Yesterday's hearing lasted eleven hours and hundreds of teachers and state employees came out to tell their story. A coalition of union leadership presented close to three hours and offered the following as a much fairer way to change the pension system and fund the unfunded liability.

1. Re-amortize...

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Posted: The hearing on the Treasurer and Governor's proposed legislation on pensions is scheduled to begin tomorrow at 11 in Room 35 at the State House. If you come, we will have staff there to steer you in the right direction; help you sign up to testify, head to the viewing room and postcards to write to your...

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Posted: We know that there are a number of unanswered questions for many of you and with a lengthy piece of legislation we are going through it meticuously. We have national experts coming in through the union coalition and will be testifying in detail on Wednesday. We also have televison and radio ads almost...

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Posted: The Finance Committee's hearing on teacher, state and municipal pensions will be next Wednesday, October 26 at the State House, starting at 11 AM. It should last in to the evening and we encourage you to attend to show support and you may even want to share your own story how these drastic changes impact...

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Posted: Larry Purtill called the recommended pension changes from the Governor and Treasurer unacceptable. Raising the age to 67 is not only unfair but has unattended consequences to cities and towns who now will pay top step employees much longer than usual. This is cost shifting from the state to local municipalities. ...

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Posted: There will be tremendous news coverage of the pension unveiling this afternoon and we caution you as to what you see and hear. We are sending out an all member email today and plan to follow up with more emails, video messages, robo calls and another Tele-Town Hall. Check your emails and visit here daily...

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Posted: Pension Update: 1. The Governor and Treasurer's bill will be presented tomorrow at 4 in the House Chambers. Despite what you read or heard on the news, the draft that was leaked is not the final version and reportedly has changes. The main concepts will be there however; hybrid system, raising the age...

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Posted: The draft of the Governor and Treasurer's pension legislation was leaked to the press and contains much of what was expected; a very unfair bill that suspends and cuts the COLA and raises the retirement age to 67 for many. The actual legislation will be presented to the House and Senate on Tuesday and...

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Posted: It appears, as of right now, from everything we are hearing that the Treasurer and Governor will be submitting their pension legislation the end of next week or the start of the following week. The legislature will come in to session at some point after that and their plan seems to be a series of hearings...

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Posted: The Rhode Island Retirement Security Coalition will be holding three meetings this week, all 5:30-6:30 PM, to inform all union members about the threats to their pension and what actions they need to take. With The Treasurer and Governor set to introduce their pension legislation sometime in the next...

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Posted: Many of you are wondering about the time frame as the Treasurer, Governor and legislature move forward. While hints are already out there, it appears that the Governor and Treasurer will release their proposed legislation in the next ten to twelve days, probably after Columbus Day. The legislature would...

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Posted: Close to 2,300 NEARI members listened in to the Tele-Town Hall last night as NEARI President Larry Purtill and Executive Director Bob Walsh talked pensions. The Treasurer and Governor are scheduled to release their legislation in the next two weeks and the legislature is scheduled to meet after Columbus...

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Posted: Tele Town Hall tomorrow evening for NEARI members at 7 PM. The discussion will be with President Larry Purtill and Executive Director Bob Walsh about your future, your pension and how you can fight to protect that future. Around 6:55 your phone will ring and if it is Purtill, you just need to stay on...

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Posted: Three events in the next ten days will center around pensions and the union message regarding workers.

Monday, September 19; NEARI Executive Committee Meeting. This meeting of the Executive Committee will focus almost entirely on the pension situation, the Governor and Treasurer's proposal, due...

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Posted: Justice Sarah Taft-Carter ruled in the union pension lawsuit that there is an implied contractual relationship between the Employees Retirerment System of Rhode Island and participating employees. The lawyers are reviewing it NEARI will keep you informed as this is only the first step, but a very important...

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Posted: The Board of Regents and the Certification Policy Advisory Board have just posted hearing dates and locations for RIDE's recommended new reqirements. The Regents must still vote on these after the hearings are held, most likely at their November meeting. The entire certification document is available...

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Posted: The Rhode Island General Assembly will be holding a special session at the Rennisance Hotel this afternoon from 5-8. Starting next Wednesday, September 14,  joint meetings of both the House and Senate Finance committees will be held each Wednesday in September. They will hear presentations by different...

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Posted: This is the weekend we all try to squeeze the last bit of summer into our lives as cooler weather and longer nights forecast the change of seasons. However, it is also the weekend to take time to celebrate the roots of the labor movement and what unionism has meant - and continues to mean - for us, our...

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Posted: The first meeting of the Pension Study Commission will be Monday at 10 AM at URI in Providence.
Posted: The first meeting of the Treasurer and Governor's Pension Study Commission will be this Monday at 10. (Site TBD.) The meeting is open to the public and we suggest you show your interest and concern by attending. I will post here throughout the summer to keep you updated.
Posted: The meeting for NEARI members will be June 9, 4:30, at the CCRI Warwick Field House. All members - active and retired - are encouraged to come with their pension questions and concerns. Park in the general student lot and walk to the Field House, located behind the main building. Handicapped parking...

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Posted: A meeting has been set for Thursday, June 9 at 4:30 PM (Place to be Determined) for NEARI members, both active and retired, to meet with the General Treasurer. More information forthcoming but set aside the date and time.
Posted: Education writer and consultant Diane Ravitch said of her meeting last week with the Governor and Commissioner Gist that in all her years of dealing with public officials that Gist showed the most rudeness and incivility of anyone and she is waiting for an apology. WOW!

Although to the 50 NEARI...

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Posted: Paul Taillefer, the president -elect of the Canadian Teachers is flying to Rhode Island today from Winnipeg to speak tomorrow, along with Jo Anderson, John Stocks, Princess Moss, Steve Smith and others. Let Teachers Teach, 500 strong at the Ryan Center .

Go to www.neari.org...

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Posted: Four hundred of your colleagues have already registered for Let Teachers Teach, you should be next. Come share your input on evaluations, certification, health care, pensions, pr and getting new members active. Let RIDE hear what the professionals think!Great speakers from around the country and Canada...

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Posted: Take five minutes during school vacation this week to register for Let Teachers Teach; 400 of your colleagues already have. This is your opportunity to hear from and let your union hear from you on evaluation, certification, pensions, health care and other topics. Guests include Officers and officals...

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Posted: 350 of your colleagues have already registered for Let Teachers Teach at URI on April 30th. Register today, before vacation by emailing Cheryl Hawes at CHawes@nea.org. Give your name, email, local and phone number. Those attending will be eligible for prizes from...

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Posted: Register today for Let Teachers Teach and be eligible for additional door prizes. 200 of your colleagues already have today. Registration will stay open until the 30th, but register now and send a message that it is time your voice is heard.
Posted: You have received the robo calls and emails, now is the time to sign up. Let Teachers Teach is for you and time to let your voice be heard. Let your union know your concerns on issues such as pensions, health care, getting new members involved, certification and professional development.

Many...

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Posted: NEARI President Larry Purtill will be one of the speakers addressing the crowd this Monday, April 4 at the Multicultural Center at URI, starting at 4 in one of dozens or WE ARE ONE rallies being held across the country. In an effort to commemorate the death of Martin Luther King Jr., thousands of workers,...

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Posted: NEARI will be opposing a bill in the House today that would pay retirees $500 per day as consultants in areas such as evaluation,in order to meet the requirements under Race to the Top. Both NEARI and the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals will be suggesting a better way. Active...

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Posted: NEARI President Larry Purtill is one of 300 education leaders from around the world attending the first International Summit on the Teaching profession today and tomorrow in New York City. Purtill reported that many high performing nations share similar characteristics; highly unionized teachers and...

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Posted: We are all outraged at what is happening in Wisconsin, so let's turn it into a great opportunity to get active and organized. Find out how to participate in the fight and check the latest legislative news around the country at NEA's EducationVotes website....

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Posted: Two buses will be available for NEARI members who are planning to attend the rally Wednesday afternoon in support of Providence teachers. Both will leave from the parking lot at the rear of NEARI headquarters (99 Bald Hill Road, Cranston) - one at 3:45 pm and one at 4 pm. First come first served; no...

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Posted: RALLY   RALLY   RALLY Wednesday, March 2 at 4:30 PM in support of Providence Teachers. Check back here for more information.
Posted: Kudos to four of our state legislators - Reps. Frank Ferri and Art Handy, and Senators Frank Ciccone and Joshua Miller - who have signed a nationwide letter of solidarity for the "Wisconsin fourteen," the Democratic senators who refuse to participate in gutting collective bargaining there.  The list...

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Posted: Great rally yesterday. Stay strong!
Posted: Come to the State house at 4:30 today to join fellow RI union workers in a rally of support for Wisconsin public employees (and wear red). Attacks on unions and collective bargaining rights are spreading across the country - we must stay strong and united!
Posted: The teacher and administrator evaluation forum scheduled for 4 PM today at Rogers High School in newport has been cancelled.
Posted: The Rhode Island department of Education will be holding two more forums for public input on their proposed teacher and administration evaluation system. The dates and location are listed below.

For more information, go to www.ride.ri.gov and click on evaluation....

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Posted: The Rhode Island Department of Education will be presenting the latest in their Teacher Evaluation process this Monday, November 22 at East Providence High School from 4-6 PM. You can visit the RIDE web site for more information at www.ride.ri.gov.

They...

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Posted:

There is a Support Chafee Rally tonight at PPAC at 5:30. Folling the rally will be the Channel 12 debate for Governor at 7.

With one week left before the election it would be a good time to volunter for NEARI endorsed candidates. Call Pat Crowley if interested.

Posted: NEARI will be holding a Teacher Evaluation Update and Workshop at the NEARI office from 5-7 tomorrow. The focus will be on the new evaluation system being designed by the Rhode Island Department of Education. Jay Walsh, North Kingstown teacher and NEARI's representative on the committee, will update where RIDE is in the process, what the system will ultimately look like and his major concerns as the system is developing.

...

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Posted: Several Workshops are being offered at NEARI this week.

Tuesday, October 19 at 4:30  Training for new local presidents.

Wednesday, October 20 at 4:30  Training for Region V new members.

Thursday, October 21 at 5  Teacher Evaluation Update and Workshop.

For more information,...

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Posted: NEARI will host a workshop to provide an update on RIDE's development of an evaluation instrument at the NEARI office on Thursday, October 21 from 5 to 7 PM. Jay Walsh, North Kingstown teacher who has a doctorate degree in education, has been serving as NEAERI's representative on the overview committee...

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Posted: The Senate today passed the Education Jobs Bill which will bring over $33.7 million to Rhode Island. This money is to be used to rehire educational employees that have been laid off or new staff and will help keep class size down around the nation. Both of Rhode Island's senators, as had our representatives,...

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Posted: The East Providence Education Association ratified their contract this afternoon. The school committee is scheduled to vote on Tuesday.
Posted: The East Providence Education Association continues their negotiations with the school committee this morning. This is an opportunity for the SC and teachers to reach an agreement and start to move forward and rebuild some trust in EP. The 11,000 members of NEARI remain rock solid in their support of...

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Posted: After 13 hours, a TA in East Providence. Membership meeting Monday and NEARI Executive Committee conference call Monday at 5. Committee members need to check emails late tomorrow morning.
Posted: NEARI members will be joining with members from other unions at the State House today  to oppose the changes to our COLA passed by the House Finance Committee last Thursday. It is time for your voice to be heard. We are asking NEARI members to come to Providence after work today to lobby against these...

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Posted: News outlets are reporting that Rhode Island was not a winner in the RTTT grant application during the first round. Delaware and Tennessee are the two reported winners. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that there was a strong emphasis on states with large union support, which Rhode Island did not...

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Posted: The United States Department of Education will announce tomorrow, Monday, at 1 PM the first round winners for the Race to the Top grant. NEARI President Larry Purtill said that either way he hopes the commissioner understands she must work with us for any program to be successful. Purtill will notify...

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Posted: It appears that Central Falls' teachers will be back at the table to bargain contractual items that could pave the way for teachers to be reinstated. Check back here tomorrow for more details.
Posted: President Larry Purtill did a five minute interview this evening that will air on Good Morning America tomorrow. He said teachers were disappointed in President Obama's comments today and he encouraged the President and Secretary to encourage mediation. Purtill added that many on both sides of the issue...

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Posted: Rally this afternoon in support of the teachers and against the attack on collective bargaining and public education in Central Falls. Send a message to the three G's that firing all of the district's 74 teachers does not make sense and certainly does not move education forward.(Governor, Gist and Gallo) ...

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Posted: The Superintendent of Central Falls High School is threatening to fire all 74 teachers if the local union does not agree to her demands. Commissioner Gist and Governor Carcieri have said they fully support Gallo. Central Falls High School has been a struggling school for years but firing all the teachers...

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Posted: There will be another reading of Race to the Top tonight at 8:30 PM at the Rhode Island Department of Education. There have been a few chances, or at least that is what has been communicated, but the basic content remains the same, only with the time period extended by two years. Yesterday morning NEARI...

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Posted: The application for Race to the Top continues to remain one that NEARI can not support. There are numerous points in the document to contest, but the fact that evaluations would be based 51% on test scores and the push for the growth of charter schools and especially mayoral academies is offensive to...

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Posted: NEARI and the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals continue to oppose the state's application for Race to the Top grant money. Under the current proposal, a teachers evaluation will be based 51% on student achievement, step system would be done away with, certification tied directly...

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Posted: NEARI and the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals continue to oppose the state's application for Race to the Top grant money. Under the current proposal, a teachers evaluation will be based 51% on student achievement, step system would be done away with, certification tied directly...

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Posted: Happy New Year to you all and regular blogging is back for 2010. The Race to the Top grant application requires local districts to sign on through a Memorandum of Understanding to be eligible for the money and that includes participation by the local union. NEARI has been working with the AFT to be sure...

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Posted: Eight years and the Governor keeps singing the same song. This time he has made new friends by going after state police officers and judges. A proposed (Remember the Legislature has to pass all this) $41 million dollar cut in education aid and the elimination of COLA's. He does not seem to understand...

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Posted: President Larry Purtill is looking for NEARI members to serve on a new committee dealing with technology and communications. We know that members check this blog, like the robo calls and emails, but Purtill is interested in the next wave of communicating with members, especially new and younger members....

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Posted: Last night the Westerly School Committee, in a 4-3 vote, rejected the tentative agreement that teachers had already ratified. The agreement containd several major concessions by the teachers, including monetary items. The four caved to the pressure of groups such as the Rhode Island Statewide Coalition...

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Posted: Come join us tomorrow, Saturday, at Goddard Park for the NEARI 5k road race and 1 mile walk. The race helps raise money for the NEARI Children's Fund. Two hundred runners/walkers are expected, so come join the fun. Race starts at 10 and looks like a beautiful, cool, sunny day.
Posted: After four months of waiting, the General Assembly is back in session tomorrow and again, one of the bills they may be considering is binding arbitration for teachers. It will end strikes, work to rule and eliminate expensive legal costs. While it is frustrating at this late date to still not have the...

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Posted: Call Speaker Murphy, 222-2466, and House Majority Leader Fox, 222-2447, and tell them to pass binding arbitration for teachers when the General Assembly meets tomorrow and Thursday. It will end strikes, end work to rule, and stop costly legal fees, such as the over $700,000 spent in East Providence....

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Posted: The House Labor Committee heard 6 hours of testimony yesterday on binding arbitration but did not vote. A final bill still needs discussion, modifications and amendments. It is critical members continue to call, especially members of House Labor. Committee members and talking points are here on the web.Check...

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Posted: Executive Director Bob Walsh and President Larry Purtill testified yesterday in the House Labor Committee's six hour hearing on binding arbitration. Both answered many concerns about the bill and while a vote was not taken, it is still very much alive for the House session next Wednesday and Thursday....

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Posted: Today is the hearing before House Labor (In Senate Room 313 at 2 PM)Connecticut has binding arbitration and has not had a strike in 30 years. Only 12 % of negotiations actually end up in arbitration and arbitrated financial settlements are lower than negotiated. The other side has no basis for their...

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Posted: The hearing on binding arbitration is still scheduled for 2 PM tomorrow in House Labor. You need to call your rep and tell them how important it is and that disruptions we have seen in the past and situations such as East Providence is going through can easily be prevented. Talking points are listed...

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Posted:

It is never too late to contact your reps about the hearing tomorrow on binding arbitration. Talking points etc. are all here on the web. Do not let them use the excuse they did not hear from you!! You are and can make a difference.

 

Posted: Today would be a great day to call your rep regarding binding arbitration for teachers. Talking points are listed here on the web. The hearing is scheduled for this Wednesday in House Labor. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, groups like the Rhode Island Statewide Coalition, formerly the Shoreline...

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Posted: The House labor Committee will hear testimony on binding arbitration this coming Wednesday, october 21 at 2 PM. Tomorrow we will be doing an all member email and Monday a robo call.  Talking Points will be posted here shortly. We need you to start calling your representative and ask them for their support.

...

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Posted: NEARI higher education locals were never part of the discussion between the Governor's office and the unions. Bob Walsh made that quite clear in several emails to the Journal reporter yesterday. NEARI does not have a master agreement and the only local involved for us was the Department of Health and...

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For more local news, visit NEARI local association websites by district.

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