Why politics?

NEARI represents 12,000 Rhode Island workers in K-12 school buildings, on higher education campuses, in municipal buildings and at the Department of Health. We are varied in our work, but all of our cohorts are impacted by policies and laws passed by politicians. We actively support candidates, officials, and initatives – from the Statehouse to school committee hearing rooms – that are pro-public education and advance the rights and working conditions of workers across the Ocean State.

Read Patrick Crowley's essay on why political action is necessary

You are the Union! Get involved.

We have registered lobbyists who represent our membership at the General Assembly fighting to advance and defend public education and worker protections. Remember too: it's the U and I in UNION that keeps us STRONG! Members like you are called upon to testify before General Assembly committees, show up in support or opposition at School Committee meetings, or lobby your legislators from home! Learn more about getting involved by contacting your Local president or your NEARI UniServ field representative.

NEARI 2024 Priorities and Legislative Agenda

Pension Relief

Visit Pension Page for more

Common Sense Gun Safety

Targeted MLL Funding

Universal Healthy School Meals for All

Additional priorities

  • H5639/S0068 Healthy School Meals for All
    These bills would provide breakfast and lunch to all school children free of charge
  • H5092/S0086 Rule of 90 pension adjustment
    These bills would allow members of the state pension system to retire without penalty at age 60 with a minimum of 30 years of service.
  • H5195/S0223 Multiple pension system employment adjustment
    These bills would fix a loophole in the pension system by allowing all time worked in multiple systems to count as time served.
  • H5684/S0425 Data Breach - Identity Theft Protection Act
    These bills would add more protection to workers who are impacted by a data breach like what happened at RIPTA in 2021.
  • H6008/S0537 Green and Healthy Schools for All
    These bills would require all school buildings to be carbon-free by the year 2035.
  • H5564/S0381 ESP Equity Bill - Assault protections
    These bills would provide that ESP members who are assaulted at work and miss time do not have to use sick days to take time off, just like teachers and administrators.
  • H7630/S2199 Adjunct Faculty Medical Insurance
    These bill would create a mechanism to provide health insurance for adjunct faculty at RI public colleges.
  • H5240/S0222 Fractional Annual COLA
    These bills provide that the current COLA suspension schedule would be replaced with a fractional annual COLA of twenty-five (25%) of the COLA declared for that plan year, as it pertains to retired teachers, state and municipal employees.
  • H5222/S0181 School Bereavement Days
    These bills would allow schools to close for funeral services if a teacher or student dies during the school year.
  • H5006/S0032 Equality in Abortion Access
    These bills would provide for equal access to reproductive healthcare for state workers and those on Medicare.
  • H5300/S0321 Assault Weapons Ban
    These bills would make it illegal to own an assault-style weapon in Rhode Island.
  • H5434/S0379 Safe Storage of Firearms
    These bills would require gun owners to store their weapons locked in a safe or similar device.