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Woonsocket Budget Commission Preparing For Union Talks

Sequino: Most of savings in budget likely to come from benefit negotiations, supplemental tax will also be necessary.

 

The Woonsocket Budget Commission met briefly this morning, discussing how to lay the groundwork for talks with the city's unions, where Chairman Bill Sequino says the bulk of the panel's cutting will take place.

Once those talks (which will likely begin next week) are finished, Sequino said, the Commission will also have to work to pass a supplemental tax bill. Both cuts and increased tax revenue will be required to solve the city's deficit, Sequino said. "It can't be one or the other," Sequino said.

The savings will have to focus primarily on benefits for the city's union employees, he said, since there is little to cut from the city's budget and the school budget, in the final review stage, is largely finished. 

On Thursday, Sequino said, the Budget Commission will meet to assess the situation, which will require gathering all the data on all city employees' benefits: holiday pay, vacation and, retirement and health care. Once they have all that information in one place, Sequino said, they can begin assessing what the city can fairly afford, and what they'll need to cut.

"I think we want to try to keep everybody the same if it's at all possible," Sequino said - equitable with each other, so no one group is getting more than another.

During Monday's meeting, Commission member City Council President John Ward suggested the meeting to figure out what they'd be asking from the unions. "I think the Commission needs to have a sense of the target," Ward said.

"I certainly agree," Sequino said, "The Budget Commission needs to get a game plan." 

They'll start putting that together at their next meeting Thursday, 3 p.m., at City Hall.

John August 01, 2012 at 03:09 PM
One more thing. Now that Baldelli-Hunt cried and failed to support the supplemental tax bill, instead of having a one time supplemental bill and slightly higher tax rate going forward we are now losing our 42% Homestead exemption forever!! Thank you Lisa!! I can't wait to see what you'll do as Mayor.
John August 01, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Robert, If you keep defending Baldelli-Hunt isn't Dr. Donoyann going to get jealous??
Jerry August 04, 2012 at 02:00 AM
Maybe Lisa can have a "satelite" office at "social ocean" and have a parks program for all the bums that ruin it.
Novan for Life August 04, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Why are you? or is your buddy don q in your ear
dennis bruneault August 04, 2012 at 03:12 AM
I would just like to ask a simple question. Would our whole country be in better financial shape if every American were invested in social securety and medicare instead of all these different pension and health care plans that i read about?

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