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Systems FAILure!

A look into those programs, policies, laws and bills designed with protocols in place to undermine their success and functionality.

The list is mind-boggling = the statistics staggering.


Council Vetos Firefighter Contract Agreement

Members of the North Kingstown Firefighters Association Local 1651 met Friday night to ratify a temporary contract negotiated between the North Kingstown Firefighter’s Association Local 1651 and the Town in a good faith effort to end a year-long battle between the two.

NKFFA TA 1-30-13

Tentative Agreement 1/30/13

The discord between Town and Union saw NKFFA members subject to extended and prolonged shifts, in addition to significant wage changes. The current structure was forced upon its firefighter’s and emergency services personnel due to the Town’s unilateral implementation of a 3-platoon departmental structure.
The parties meeting in negotiations subsequent to Judge Brian J. Stern’s ruling against the Town in December (ordering the Town to return the department to its previous platoon structure, wages, shifts  and hours of operation as existed prior to March 4, 2012), came to a tentative agreement (TA) on Wednesday.

After approximately ten hours at the table on Wednesday and multiple sessions in early January, the negotiating teams hammered out a tentative agreement (pictured) to be presented to Union members and the Town Council for ratification.

Town firefighters and union officials on Friday voted in favor of ratification, sending the Temporary Agreement to the Town Council for ratification in executive session early this morning.

Instead of issuing a stamp of approval, the Council in a 5-0 vote struck down the agreement after motion was made by newly appointed member Kerry McKay to “not ratify” the agreement. The motion was seconded by Richard Welch.

In press release early this afternoon, Town Manager, Michael Embury who was present at negotiations and signed the TA on behalf of the town, noted that council members asked the negotiating team to return to the bargaining table with a counter offer.

Ratification would have returned the firefighters to their previous platoon structure as early as tomorrow morning. Court ordered return is scheduled for February 7 under a stay of order granted by Judge Stern after his ruling.

“We came to the bargaining table in good faith,” said Raymond Furtado, President of the NKFFA. “We expected the Town was doing the same.”

Carol Hueston, council member sat in on negotiations and offered her handshake on the temporary agreement on Wednesday per Furtado.

“We don’t even know who we’re negotiating with anymore,” Furtado explained. “This reversal of position on a negotiated, signed agreement. A handshake and promise of good faith,” he went on. “This is indicative of why the State Labor Relations Board has issued unfair labor practices findings against the Town.”

Stern’s stay due to expire this week; the Town will also be on the hook for wages and damages to department members estimated in excess of $1.4 million.

The Seven Year Curse – Time’s Up

A very long trip through the halls, courtrooms and red tape of Rhode Island’s Family Court System

My attorney said, “He’s Catholic? You filed? You asked for an annulment? You can expect to spend seven years in “jail.” Jail as he often referred to it, was and is the Rhode Island Family Court System.

I was visiting Family Court today on a fairly routine matter that could have been resolved in a matter of 5 minutes. That, as we all know, didn’t happen. I didn’t bring counsel along to the tune of $350 – $450 an hour. I just showed up with the paperwork the State of Rhode Island asked me to bring, my integrity and a coffee. I couldn’t, however,  drink the coffee due to the evil people who made it a danger to carry any liquids into public buildings.

I even made the Judge, the State’s attorney and opposing counsel a neat little packet. I included things they didn’t request to make the process run much more smoothly. No one actually wanted the information the State requested – last three pay stubs, income and expenses. No one looked at it, asked for it or cared whether it was entered into the record or not. The packet wasn’t pretty.

No one asked opposing counsel if his client, who is currently funding his attorney’s kids’ soccer scholarships and quite possibly college education, had produced a single item requested. No one had to ask. Everyone in that courtroom knew that he didn’t produce anything. He didn’t want anyone to know just how much money he actually makes.

He’d rather write checks to his attorney. So, he did. After all, he was paying an attorney a lot of money to make sure that he didn’t have to report how much he didn’t provide for his child. So, he didn’t have to.

Instead of just complying, he was not only allowed, but was encouraged to continue his harassment via the court system. He was allowed via his attorney to get an extension for a matter of 30-40 days to request the information that I was holding in my hand in court.

He was granted a buy again. After all, there is a Super Bowl coming up. And the last court appearance was just prior to the playoffs. Certainly, priorities must be kept in order.

None of this came as a surprise. Not to the attorney who winked at me from the gallery, knowing that the “dance” had begun or anyone else associated with the spin. The spin is commonly mastered by those who will pay big dollars to well, not pay. The Judge knew what was going on. He sees it every day – the dance.

On my way out of court, with opposing counsel breathing down my neck, I informed counsel that if his client decided he wanted to end the dance, he could give me a call (which would be referred to counsel). His attorney, commonly known as “the prince of the 5th floor” issued a subtle threat.

I once again, smiled and walked away, shaking my head with the stupidity of it all; wondering if his children would fair well or were subject to the standards he set for his clients. I am a mom, after all.

The threat is of no consequence to me as I have seen the dance before. Unimpressed then and unimpressed now, I walked away a long time ago.

His attorney, however, can be credited with my decision to forgo law school. You see, some people go to law school for the right reasons and are held back. They didn’t put in all that precious time to dance.

Some go for the wrong reasons and are held in esteem for their ability to dance.

Having seen their dance, I’ll pass. I already know how to dance very well. Thanks.

I find and truly believe I can help more people as a journalist. It’s what I do best.

I’ll just write about the dance. Imagine that.

Here I am at work and I didn’t miss a beat.

Coming Soon – Systems Failure.

A look into those programs, policies, laws and bills designed with protocols in place to undermine their success and functionality.

The list is mind-boggling = the statistics staggering.


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