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Unions score big court win Retired couple battles in fight over pension reform to survive bankruptcy By Common Ground Staff Providence County Superior Court last month delivered a measure of good news for public employee unions when it ruled that retirees and vested workers have a contractual right to their pensions. The decision, handed down by Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter, was widely seen as a big win for labor. “It’s still the first inning, but they’re ahead one-nothing,” said Bob Craven, a former assistant attorney general in Rhode Island. The case involves a lawsuit filed over a series of changes to pension benefits the General Assembly passed in 2009 and 2010 — but the ultimate outcome of the case would have sweeping implications for future pension reform efforts, including any legislation that is considered during the special session this fall. (The state’s biggest unions are behind the legal challenge, including Council 94, Association of Federal State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME); the National Eduation Association (NEA); the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals; and the Rhode Island Brotherhood of Correctional Officers.) “That case was clearly an impediment to those who are pushing for and are voicing efforts to reform the pension system,” said Erik

Wallin, a former GOP candidate for attorney general and currently the executive director of Operation Stand Down Rhode Island, an organization for homeless veterans. In her ruling, Taft-Carter said the state had sought maximum flexibility to adjust or even eliminate pensions: “Defendants envision an ERSRI [Employees Retirement System of Rhode Island] under which the state may, with or without justification, significantly alter or completely terminate a public employee’s pension benefits at any time — even just one day — before retirement. In light of the major purposes underlying public pensions, as recognized by our own Supreme Court, such a construction of the ERSRI is untenable,” she wrote.

Case could become a ‘bargaining chip’ The decision of the Superior Court judge now is headed to the Rhode Island Supreme Court on appeal. If the high court reverses the decision, the state’s motion to dismiss the case will be granted. If it does not, the case will be back before the Superior Court to determine whether the state illegally reduced pension benefits in 2010. Three criteria will be used to answer that question, legal experts say. 1. Did the reduction in pension benefits “substantially impair” the state’s See Pension, page 2

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Cut to benefits shocks retirees By Common Ground Staff He was a firefighter and she was a teacher. Both had been working — and paying taxes — since they were 16 years old. And both retired from their jobs in their early 50s with a combined pension income of roughly $66,000 — enough to assure them of a comfortable retirement, but hardly anything someone might call generous or perhaps even luxurious. Gloria Ciesynski and her husband, Charles, also happened to both be retiring as public employees in Central Falls. “For me … this was supposed to be my time,” Gloria Ciesynski said. Instead, the couple is struggling to absorb a staggering 55 percent cut in her husband’s pension — one of the harsher consequences of bankruptcy that affected all city retirees (except the teachers, for now). As a result, he is now receiving a pension check of just $1,008.75 a month. “I was quite shocked and stunned and upset,” Ciesynski told Common Ground. “I don’t know how the others handled it but personally I cried for a month.” Just one week into September, the couple had already spent more than a third of his check on routine health care costs like prescriptions and doctor visits — and all this is before taxes are taken out. See Couple, page 2 R


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Pension from page 1 contractual relationship with employees? 2. Can the state show there was a “legitimate public purpose” behind those reductions? 3. Was that “legitimate public purpose” sufficient to justify the cuts that were made? Legal observers say it’s highly unlikely the case will be settled in time for the special session set for this month — for one thing, the Supreme Court is in recess and is not scheduled to reconvene until January. Wallin believes that state lawmakers will move forward with pension reform, despite the fact that key legal issues remain in limbo. In a joint statement released after the decision, Gov. Lincoln Chafee and Treasurer Gina Raimondo promised that state officials would do just that. “While we are disappointed that today’s ruling did not grant immediate dismissal of the plaintiff ’s claims to the state at this time, we remain committed to submitting comprehensive pension reform legislation for the General Assembly to consider during their October special session,” Chafee and Raimondo said. “The state cannot afford its current pension obligations

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and must enact reform that is fair to the taxpayers and provides retirement security to retirees and active employees that is sustainable and affordable.” Craven predicts that the unions will use the case as a bargaining chip in negotiations over pension reform this fall. In exchange for dropping the case, he said union leaders will seek concessions from lawmakers during the session. “I think that’s what really happens at this stage of any legal proceeding,” Craven said. “As the state gets to its number and the employees get to their acceptable degree of haircut, then they will endorse the legislation.”

A math problem?

Had the case gone all the way through the courts, Craven says, the ultimate resolution would have come down to the numbers: what the costs were in the pension system and what ability the state has to continue making contributions to it. In her decision, Taft-Carter was at pains to make clear that even though she had ruled there is a contractual right to pensions, that did not mean the state could not make significant reductions to such benefits. Instead, she said circumstances, such as financial

shortfalls, could warrant the changes: “Whether the 2009 and 2010 acts have substantially impaired the contract as it exists between plaintiffs and defendants is not the issue before this court. Nor does this court make any findings as to whether the acts were, nevertheless, ‘reasonable and necessary to carry out a legitimate public purpose’ such that they have not violated plaintiffs’ rights under the contract and takings clauses [of the state constitution],” she wrote. “In sum, the three-prong test traditionally used in contract clause analysis provides the necessary flexibility so that future legislatures may do what is ‘reasonable and necessary to adjust to changes in the fiscal climate.” Just where pension reform is headed, both in the courts and in the legislature, is far from clear, Wallin says. “I think it’s extremely difficult to predict what the outcome of pension reform will be,” he said. “Throughout this process everyone has to remember that those whose pensions we’re talking about are fellow Rhode Islanders, they have families . . . and they’re not the ones who created this problem,” Wallin added.

Couple from page 1 “To me, it’s unfair. To me, its unconstitutional, un-American, immoral — I don’t know what word really to use,” she said.


Retiree: ‘Is this going to be the only shoe that drops?’

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As the city remains very much in the midst of the bankruptcy process a big question looms: What next? “Is this going to be the only shoe that’s going to drop or are there going to be other shoes that are going to drop?” Ciesynski said. “Or are they going to decide we’re going to get back some of what we lost?” In the meantime, she is working as much as she can — up to half a school year — as a substitute teacher in Central Falls while her husband juggles two part-time jobs, as a bartender and an independent collateral inspector. Neither job comes with health care benefits and Ciesynski doesn’t have much hope that such a job is in his future. “What’s out there?” she said. “Who’s going to hire somebody 55 years old who doesn’t have anything but firefighting in his experience?”

‘The worst plan’

After her husband’s pension was slashed in half, another shoe dropped: dramatic changes in the health plan they received. Monthly premiums jumped and co-pays doubled or tripled — depending on the service. The new plan, which is through Blue Cross Blue Shield, also has

a $2,000 deductible and a 20 percent copay on all medical expenses after that. “It’s got to be the worst Blue Cross plan,” Ciesynski said. As a result of those changes, she said she’s now decided to put off knee replacement surgery, which would cost her $5,000 under the new plan. It hasn’t helped that, since bankruptcy went into effect this summer, Ciesynski now has a new medical condition—high blood pressure, something that she doesn’t believe is a coincidence. Even with three part-time jobs, the Ciesynskis aren’t convinced they will have enough to get by. Their next option: start selling their assets, beginning with their camper. Asked what they would sell off after that, Ciesynski replied: “Our home.” “I don’t know what we would do,” she added. “We’re not at that point.”

‘We never tasted the silver spoon’ She remains confident that they will find a way. Which made an offer of government assistance from the Blackstone Valley Community Action Program something of an insult to Ciesynski and her husband. Gloria Ciesynski grew up in Central Falls, the daughter of a single mother. As a teenager, she worked at a local drug store and a pizza restaurant. Her husband was one of eight children who grew up in South Providence. (The couple moved

to Pawtucket after they had their first child.) “We’re not talking about your Barringtons,” she said. “The day I retired was the first day I didn’t work in my life. We worked for everything we had. We didn’t ask the government for anything — we never got to taste the silver spoon.” Ciesynski doesn’t have a position on just how Central Falls can steer its way out of bankruptcy. But she does have an idea of what caused the financial mess. “Might there need to be a reminder that the financial travesty has not been caused by natural disasters nor gambling in the stock market but by broken promises from the government served, the very government that pledges to be ‘for the people,’” she wrote in a letter to Common Ground. She also worries that the crisis is casting public professions in a negative light — discouraging younger generations from wanting to enter public service. “When did being a firefighter, police officer or teacher become such a disrespected professions? I can remember when these were people who children desired to emulate!! I grew up in Central Falls and fulfilled my career dreams there!!” she wrote. “I would like to once again feel proud of that community and my accomplishments rather than have these feelings I have now of shame and disdain!”

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Sen. Tassoni will not seek re-election Sen. John J. Tassoni, Jr. announced he will not seek a seventh term in the Rhode Island Senate. Elected in 2000 after defeating a 22year incumbent, Tassoni is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Housing and Municipal Government and has represented the people of Smithfield and North Smithfield (District 22) for 11 years. Tassoni is president of The Sentinel Group, a Providence-based business development firm, and the publisher of Common Ground, a labor-focused monthly newspaper. His decision to depart political office was made so he could spend more time with his family and devote his full attention to his businesses. Tassoni is married to S. Jean Cerroni and has a grown daughter, Jennifer, a stepson, David Monfils, and two granddaughters, Sabrina and Felicity. “I decided to run for office 12-years ago after raising money for a Smithfield woman battling breast cancer. The Friday before she died, she wrote to me and suggested I seek public office to put my passion for helping people to full time use,” Tassoni explained. “I am proud to say that I fulfilled my promise and worked hard to make a difference in the lives of everyday people.”

During his tenure in the Senate, Tassoni was responsible for a prolific amount of legislation, with 114 bills he authored becoming law. Issues affecting children were always of critical importance to Sen. Tassoni, which was exemplified by his work to create the anti-bullying commission and pass Rhode Island’s first cyber-bullying law. Last year, he also authored legislation and secured passage of a bill that will create Rhode Island’s first recovery high school for children suffering from addiction. In addition to his legislation to protect young people, Sen. Tassoni helped to protect all Rhode Islanders with legislation that mandates the recording and maintenance of DNA for all violent crime offenders. He also passed landmark legislation that requires nursing homes to reimburse prepayment by deceased patients, ending the practice of facilities being allowed to keep the payments of the deceased. A dedicated defender of animals, he also sponsored and passed new laws prohibiting the use of the gas chamber for animal euthanasia. As the chairman of the Senate Housing and Municipal Government Committee, Sen. Tassoni championed the successful initiative to reform Rhode Island’s affordable housing law. The new Housing Act was heralded for balancing the need for affordable housing with the ability for communities to plan for responsible growth. As one of the strongest consumer advocates in the legislature, Tassoni was the first to call for

an investigation into National Grid’s response after Tropical Storm Irene and has stood firm against the company’s attempt to raise the rates of Rhode Island homeowners. He also was a staunch and vocal opponent of Blue Cross Blue Shield’s request for rate increases. Sen. Tassoni has been recognized for his various efforts by the Big Brothers of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Motorcycle Association, the Rhode Island Council on Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependence, the Rhode Island State Nurses Association, United Nurses and Allied Professionals, the Housing Network of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Board of Girls’ Basketball, the North Smithfield Girls’ Hockey program, the Lions Club Cancer in Children Organization, Defenders of Animals, Inc., and Adoption Rhode Island, among others. Sen. Tassoni received the first-annual Marsha E. Carpenter Victims Advocacy Award from the Rhode Island Victims’ Advocacy and Support Center in 2004. He also was a recipient of the National Guard’s Major General Charles W.F. Dick Medal of Honor, in recognition of his support for the Rhode Island National Guard. Additionally, the Rhode Island National Guard Counterdrug Program recognized him for his “outstanding effort in support of the asset forfeiture and seizure legislation.” For more information contact John J. Tassoni, Jr. at (401) 451-1305 or email

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Mass. joins 10 other states in signing IRS memorandum of understanding


Agreement addresses classification of employees that together send a coordinated message: We’re standing united to end the practice of misclassifying employees,” said Secretary Solis. “We are taking important steps toward making sure that the American dream is still available for all employees and responsible employers alike.” “This agreement takes the partnership between the IRS and Department of Labor to a new level,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “In this new phase of our relationship, we will work together more efficiently to address worker misclassification issues, and better serve the needs of small businesses and employees.” Business models that attempt to change, obscure or eliminate the employment relationship are not inherently illegal, unless they are used to evade compliance with federal labor laws. For example, an employee can be misclassified as an independent contractor and subsequently denied the rights and benefits to which he or she is entitled under the law. This practice can also create economic pressure for law-abiding business owners. These memoranda of understanding arose as part of the department’s Misclassification Initiative, which was launched under the auspices of Vice President Biden’s Middle Class Task Force with the goal of preventing, detecting and remedying employee misclassification.

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Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis hosted a ceremony at U.S. Department of Labor headquarters in Washington, D.C. to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The memorandum is aimed at improving efforts to end the business practice of misclassifying employees in order to avoid providing employment protections. Labor commissioners and other agency leaders representing seven states signed memoranda of understanding with the department’s Wage and Hour Division, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and Office of the Solicitor. The signatory states are Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Utah and Washington. Secretary Solis also announced agreements for the Wage and Hour Division to enter into memoranda of understanding with the state labor agencies of Hawaii, Illinois and Montana as well as with New York’s attorney general. The memoranda will enable the Labor Department to share information and coordinate law enforcement with the IRS and participating states. The agencies want to level the playing field for lawabiding employers and ensure that employees receive the protections to which they are entitled under federal and state law. “We’re here today to sign a series of agreements

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Postal workers’ bill gains attention on Capitol Hill Saving the United States Postal Service (USPS) from financial collapse seems to be getting attention on Capitol Hill. President Obama submitted a deficitreduction package to a special joint committee of Congress last month, which includes several proposals intended to address the Postal Service’s financial crisis. “The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) appreciates President Obama’s effort to provide shortterm relief to the USPS from financial difficulties,� the union said, “However, a long-term solution to the Postal Service’s unreasonable financial burdens is desperately needed. We will continue to urge Congress to pass H.R. 1351, which would provide such a solution. We also will continue to work with the White House and legislators in both houses of Congress to achieve financial stability for the Postal Service. Postal workers are eager to provide the American people with the service they expect and deserve.� H.R. 1351 is a bill supported by postal unions, management associations, and the mailing industry to address the USPS financial crisis. Meanwhile, 21 additional members of the House of Representatives signed on as co-sponsors of the bipartisan measure since Congress returned from its August recess. “It’s a good sign,� said APWU Legislative and Political Director Myke Reid. “Members of Congress are obviously hearing from concerned workers, business people and citizens who are demanding that Congress act,� he added. “But we’ve got to keep the pressure to save postal

jobs and service. Now is the time for all postal workers to urge their U.S. representative to support H.R. 1351,� Reid said. The legislation, introduced by Rep. Steven Lynch of Mass, would prevent the financial collapse of the USPS — without closing thousands of post offices, eliminating hundreds of mail processing facilities, delaying mail delivery, laying off 120,000 workers, cutting postal workers’ pay or ending collective bargaining rights. H.R. 1351 would allow the Postal Service to apply billions of dollars in pension overpayments to the congressional mandate that requires the USPS to pre-fund the health care benefits of future retirees. No other government agency or private company bears this burden, which forces the Postal Service to fund a 75-year liability in 10 years — at a cost of more than $5 billion annually. Without the mandate, the USPS would have shown a surplus of $611 million over the past four fiscal years. The bill currently has 204 co-sponsors — nearly half the house, yet Rep. Darrell Issa of California, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is withholding action on it while advocating his own bill, H.R 2309, which would not help the Postal Service. Rep. Issa’s bill does not address the cause of the USPS financial crisis, which is the pension overpayments or the pre-funding requirement. But it establishes a “solvency authority� with power to unilaterally cut wages, abolish benefits, and end

protection against layoffs. It also created a board that would order $1 billion worth of post office closures in the first year and $1 billion worth of facility closures in the second year. If H.R. 2309 is enacted, thousands of offices throughout the country would be closed.

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Apprenticeship training is a pathway to college degrees By Robert Delaney For many years there has been a perception that if an individual made a decision to enter a state approved apprenticeship training program, then the possibility of completing a college degree was not in his or who future. That is truly not the case today. Many colleges and universities around the country are recognizing that the skills and knowledge learned by individuals who successfully complete state approved apprenticeship training programs are similar or equal to those acquired by individuals who complete specific college courses. As a result, more and more colleges and universities are granting anywhere from 20 to 30 college credits toward degrees such as an associates’ degree in applied science/ technical studies, and in some cases even

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toward a bachelor’s degree in areas such as construction management. The number of college credits awarded is determined after an evaluation of each individual apprenticeship training program by either the college awarding the credits or an outside agency such as the American Council on Education (ACE). The evaluation will include the number of classroom contact hours the apprentice receives instruction, the content, goals and objectives of the courses taught, all combined with the 2,000 hours of applied learning and instruction that takes place on the job site each year of the apprenticeship, which is generally four years. For the past three years The Institute for Labor Studies and Research (ILSR) has been working with such higher education

partners such as the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI), the National Labor College, Wentworth Technical Institute and others to provide onsite college courses at such locations as United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing & Pipefitting Industry Local 51, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1199 and others. The Institute is in discussions with IBEW 99 to offer onsite college courses at their union facility later this fall. The goal of the institute is to offer college courses at an on-site union facility or worksite for a cohort of individuals in the same trade or profession. The institute’s course offerings will lead to a degree related to the work they do and provide them greater opportunity

in the future. As much as possible, the course uses real worksite applications or situations as case studies so that each participant can use the skills and knowledge learned on their job site, as soon as the next day if possible. The institute’s on-site offerings range from courses in leadership and management, business, psychology, English, math, contract law and a host of others depending on the degree path. If you are interested in getting more information on college courses offered at current locations or at your facility, you can call the Institute at (401) 463-9900 or visit the Institute’s new web site at Robert Delaney is the executive director of the Rhode Island Institute for Labor Studies and Research.




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Rhode Island association creates charter school to help address growing shortage of nurses By Amelia Pillsbury The Rhode Island Nurses Institute (RINI) opened a pubic charter school last month to educate students interested in the field of nursing. The RINI Middle College Charter School, the first of its kind in the country, is designed to allow students entering the 10th grade to graduate in their 12+ year with a high school diploma and one year of college credit toward their registered nursing degree. During their four years at the Middle College, students will earn their high school diploma in an environment that reflects a college career by spending time on a college campus, being taught by college professors and using college curriculum. In this first year, the majority of the 127 students enrolled came from cities such as Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls. In total, 23 school districts are represented. Students will be able to get the help and attention

necessary since the faculty to student ratio is 18 to 1. The goal of the Middle College Charter School is to give motivated students, who might not otherwise have an opportunity to pursue nursing, tools to graduate high school and have a successful college career. “We were hearing from educators and students that they weren’t able to pass basic science courses necessary for the nursing program and were subsequently denied entrance into the nursing program. The goal of the Middle College is to prepare students for a successful college career in nursing – to bridge that gap,” said Donna Policastro, executive director of Rhode Island State Nursing Association. Not only will the Middle College help students with a successful college career, but it will also work to the advantage of the nursing shortage. By 2018, 4,000 nurses will be needed to supplement the shortage in

Rhode Island. “The year 2018 coincides with the year many of our students will be graduating nursing school. Our process is going to feed nurses back into a field lacking these professionals. The Middle College offers a perfect alignment between the nursing profession and workforce development,” said Policastro. According to Policastro, the school will also bring diversity to the profession. Enrolled this year are students of different races, ethnicities and genders than are typical for the nursing profession.

Gov.’s executive order establishes benefits exchange By Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts On Sept.19, Gov. Chafee issued an executive order to establish the Rhode Island Health Benefits Exchange, a critical milestone in getting all Rhode Islanders covered with affordable health insurance. Additionally, Gov. Chafee appointed the public members of the Exchange Board created in the executive order and named former U.S. Attorney Margaret “Meg” Curran as chair. Donald Nokes, president & co-founder of NetCenergy, will serve as vice chair. The Rhode Island Health Benefits Exchange is created under the auspices of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as a way to link consumers and employees with affordable health coverage. The exchange will function as a marketplace for health insurance for individuals, families and small businesses. The Exchange Board will recommend design and policy decisions for the exchange as it is developed, which is scheduled to start enrolling Rhode Islanders in health insurance by late 2013. The construction of the exchange is fully paid through federal funds, for which Rhode Island will apply at the end of this month. The executive order includes a strict conflict of interest provision for board members. The order also creates an advisory council to tap the expertise that insurers, brokers and medical providers, who are

otherwise prohibited from board membership, can bring to the exchange design and planning process. Although there have been numerous public discussions and much reporting in the local news about the exchange, there still exists much misinformation. Some of the more commonly asked questions about the exchange are discussed below. How is the governor authorized to create the exchange through an executive order isn’t the General Assembly the only group that can do that? Existing state laws put in place by the General Assembly, already authorize and create the expectation that the executive branch will reduce the number of uninsured Rhode Islanders and work on expanding access to affordable health care coverage. The existing state laws authorize the governor to charge state agencies to implement a health insurance exchange funded with federal dollars. There was a federal funding deadline on Sept. 30. Rhode Island needed to have this activity formally authorized by the governor, using the authorities already granted by the General Assembly in existing state laws, in order to meet that deadline and apply for tens of millions of dollars. The federal funds will enable Rhode Island to create a new online marketplace for uninsured Rhode Islanders, Rhode Island families and small businesses to have a new, more flexible way to purchase health

insurance. When will Rhode Islanders be able to buy insurance through the exchange? People can enroll beginning Oct. 1, 2013, for coverage that is effective Jan. 1, 2014, when the new online marketplace for insurance, a kind of “Travelocity” for health insurance, will be up and running. Although 2014 can sound like a long way off, it is critical that Rhode Island not lose momentum as one of the leading states in implementing a health insurance exchange in order that this new opportunity will be available for Rhode Islanders on schedule. What is different about an exchange created by an executive order and one that would have been established through the proposed legislation? The governor’s executive order authorizes this project to go forward within the executive branch, coordinating existing state agencies to implement this new way for Rhode Islanders to access health insurance and obtain federal subsidies to buy it if they can’t otherwise afford it. The executive order enables Rhode Island to meet federal funding deadlines in the meantime and not to lose momentum in implementing this important reform. What is the advisory board? The governor has created an advisory board to See Health, page 12

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Blue-Green Alliance finds common ground on transportation By Barry Schiller You have probably never heard of the Blue-Green Alliance since mainstream media gives it little coverage. The “blue” is named for “blue-collar,” as in labor, and the “green” is named for green, as in the environment. The alliance was formed in 2006 by leaders of the Steelworkers and the Sierra Club. Many other groups have joined, including unions such as the AFT, ATU, CWA, LIUNA, SEIU, UAW and UFCW; and environmental groups such as the National Wildlife Refuge Association, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Union of Concerned Scientists. The alliance’s mission is to promote a

green economy. The alliance’s goal is to find common ground in building the quantity and quality of green jobs for the 21st century. Both groups are under serious attack by forces that actively seek to undermine collective bargaining, pension rights, pollution regulation, climate science, protection of public lands and more. While Rhode Island has seen issues where labor and environmental voices were on opposite sides, there are many points of agreement on the national level. These include renewable energy, a smart grid, agriculture and food

distribution, weatherization and other energy conservation measures, controls on toxic chemicals in the workplace and fair trade agreements that seek to protect both labor and environmental standards. Another major blue-green interest is transportation. At the same time that our infrastructure is crumbling, we have an employment crisis and a need to combat global climate change — about one third of greenhouse gases come from transportation. Investing in cleaner transit vehicles and repairing roads and bridges can reduce pollution while providing millions

of jobs n infrastructure construction, manufacturing and transit opertations. That can also reduce the estimated $1 billion a day spent on importing foreign oil. The Blue-Green Alliance is trying to promote those policies by reaching out to the public, sharing research and ideas and lobbying Congress and the states. More information about their efforts is available by visiting www. Barry Schiller is a member of the State Planning Council’s Transportation Advisory Committee and can be reached at

Chamber of Commerce praises Senate for I-195 commission The Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce applauds the Rhode Island Senate for its confirmation of the sevenmembers to serve on the Interstate-195 Relocation Commission. The permanent creation of this commission is a tremendous step forward in the development of this important parcel of land. It will allow the city and state to create a dynamic economic development vision that will not only change the physical landscape

but also spur innovative growth of Rhode Island’s overall economy. In the last few years, the Chamber has been leading a charge to capitalize on the City’s educational and institutional assets as a means to grow the state’s knowledge economy. The clearest lesson the community has learned about the Knowledge Economy is that those places that invest in research and development have more sustained economic activity. Providence and Rhode Island

have a real opportunity to capitalize on their resources to create a hub of life sciences, health care, institutional research and start-up ventures through the development of the 41 acres of real estate made available from the relocation of Route 195. What the Chamber is talking about is a specific area with an infrastructure and environment that not only supports world class research, cutting edge product development, and new business development, but also

attracts it. Simply put, the commission’s strategic and thoughtful development of this property will serve as a magnet for significant institutional and private development, adding to the city’s tax base and creating much needed jobs. The Chamber appreciates the investment of the Commission’s time and energy to the project and looks forward to being a part of this collaborative effort.


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Mass. Public Service Committee reports favorably on pension bill they can to make public employment as unattractive BOSTON – The Joint Committee on Public as possible. Service has reported favorably on a pension reform “We can’t maintain a top-caliber public bill that has headed to the Senate for debate. The bill protects rights of current employees but weakens workforce in the commonwealth if these rights and benefits continue to erode. And we wouldn’t even benefits for future workers. be having this discussion about pension reform if The National Association of Government the commonwealth had not shirked its funding Employees (NAGE) worked hard to maintain obligations over the last decades. It’s time to stop rights for members and was successful in doing so. blaming workers for poor state management.” Although the retirement age will be moved to 60 for new employees, workers currently in the system will still reach retirement age at 55. Under the bill, the cost of living wage base will (401) 946-9940/946-3710 Fax: (401) 946-5060 also increase to $13,000 from $12,000. E-mail: Much credit goes to Sen. Katherine Clark of Melrose, who reported “the time has come” for an increase to the COLA base. PAUL R. ENOS Vice President The current $12,000 base was established in 1997. POST OFFICE PLAZA INTERNATIONAL UNION OF “NAGE has been vigorously defending 150 MIDWAY ROAD BRICKLAYERS & ALLIED SUITE 153 CRAFTWORKERS the rights of our members to retire with CRANSTON, RI 02920-5743 LOCAL # 3 R.I. dignity and security and we’re happy they won’t be negatively affected by these changes,” said national President David J. Local 310 Holway. “However, we’re very disappointed Brotherhood of Utility Workers Council that public officials are doing everything affiliated with the


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Common Ground


Everybody wins with proactive employees By Michael Blackburn At Treatment Solutions Network, we specialize in dealing with addiction in the workplace. However, most people don’t know how to handle this problem. We recently worked with a team of addiction specialists from employee assistance programs (EAPs) to put together a basic blueprint for dealing with addiction in the workplace.

Don’t be an enabler When you cover up for substance abusers, you are protecting them from the consequences of their behavior. You are making it possible for them to continue abusing drugs or alcohol. You may think you are being a friend, but you are doing them no favor. In fact, you are doing a disservice to them, yourself and the company.

Don’t look the other way If you suspect that a co-worker is using drugs, you should pass the word to a supervisor, security or human resources personnel. Such contacts are confidential, and in many organizations this can be done anonymously. If EAP services are not available, ask your

supervisor to consider the option. Feel free to contact Treatment Solutions Network for EAP solutions and suggestions.

Don’t intervene on your own Drug abuse and drug dealing are serious problems that should be handled by qualified professionals, which is why your employer or place of business should have qualified personnel on hand. Improper intervention can be a disaster for everyone involved, so under no circumstances should an unqualified individual assume the role of interventionist. Contact your supervisor or EAP immediately. Again, if you are uncertain about the proper steps, contact Treatment Solutions Network for suggestions.

Don’t worry about jeopardizing a substance abuser’s job Employees are often reluctant to let management know when they suspect drug activity, worried that any coworkers they identify will be penalized or even lose their jobs. The reality is that you place a co-worker in far greater

jeopardy when you don’t report your concern — you make continued drug use possible, which puts the entire company at risk. Bear in mind that the threat of being fired is a strong motivator, and will prompt many addicts to accept help when they had previously ignored the pleas of family and friends. Remember that doing nothing is the worst possible approach. The situation will not only get worse, but will also become a potential threat to everyone’s job security. There are ways for employees to get help in a safe and discreet manner. If your supervisor or EAP have not made those options clear to you, it is in your best interest to be

proactive and formulate a plan. With addiction statistics growing by by the day, it is likely that at least one of your co-workers may be struggling - the best solution is to be armed with the proper protocol and information. For more information, contact me directly at Treatment Solutions Network so we can help you create the safest and most productive work environment. Since retiring from the Providence Fire Department as Battalion Chief in 2003, Michael J. Blackburn has been the Senior Vice President at Treatment Solutions Network. He can be reached for questions or comments at mikeb@tsnemail. com or by phone at 401-255-4622.

Whether you are a union member or not, the Massachusetts AFL-CIO is committed to preserving the rights of all workers and advocating for decent wages, health and retirement benefits, safer workplaces, and a dignified quality of life for all working families. During these difficult times, now more than ever, workers need a strong, unified voice speaking out on each other’s behalf. By advocating for all workers, the Massachusetts AFL-CIO is working to preserve the middle class, and protect you and your family. Robert J. Haynes President

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Common Ground


Page 11

National Labor News Progress on infrastructure investment and training unveiled at Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka joined American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten at the 2011 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting to announce progress in the labor movement’s commitment to investing in infrastructure, clean energy retrofitting and job training. A broad coalition chaired by the American Federation of Teachers — including Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the National Education Association (NEA), the Firefighters, the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department and investment funds affiliated with the labor movement — have worked to advance a set of goals announced in June at CGI America. At that meeting, the AFL-CIO committed to a collaborative effort to invest $10 billion in infrastructure and $20 million energy retrofits over the next year. “At the AFL-CIO, we know America wants to work. And we can’t wait for Washington. We look forward to working together to see that workers’ capital is invested profitably in rebuilding our country and putting America back to

work,” Trumka said. “Public employees, unions, investment groups and others want to be part of a renewed America. What we’re talking about today is America’s retirees, and future retirees, helping their country recover economically and invest in projects that might never have gotten off the ground because of budget crises,” Weingarten said. A lot has happened since the announcement. The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust has funded a $134 million energy efficiency and asbestos removal project for Penn South Mutual Cooperative in New York City. The trust has also developed a pipeline for $79 million dollars in further investment in retrofit projects and resolved to work with Fannie Mae on their Green Refinance Plus mortgage-backed securities. Two of the largest public pension funds in California, CalPERS and CalSTERS, have already allocated more than $1.1 billion toward job-creating infrastructure. The AFL-CIO has issued a request for proposals for a $3 million energy-efficiency retrofit of its headquarters. The union’s Building See Infrastructure, page 14

Saving Medicare is cost effective By Dr. Joseph Boffa We may have avoided an economic meltdown in round one of the deficitreduction process, but retirees still have reason to worry. As director of a wellness program that serves retirees in southeastern Massachusetts and northern Rhode Island, I have seen our retirees’ health steadily improve from our health education and chronic disease monitoring programs and enhanced access to physicians and therapies through the Medicare program. However, those improvements will only continue if Medicare is preserved in round two, which will be largely determined by a 12-member congressional committee, including Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry. Hopefully, the committee will recognize that any cuts to the Medicare program, including physician reimbursement, will jeopardize the health of our retirees and our economy. In the early years of our program, it was common for members to report splitting their pills, skipping doses or simply not filling their prescriptions. Without drug coverage, those were the best solutions our members had for balancing their medical and other budgetary needs. However, the creation of Medicare Part D has reduced the economic barriers to medications and has significantly improved our members’ adherence with recommended drug therapy regimens. The elimination of the “doughnut hole” in Part D coverage that is part of the Affordable Care Act will also help maintain access to important therapies for our retired citizens.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School recently found that Medicare Part D contributed to lower non-drug medical costs for seniors. Most of the drop was the result of reductions in high-cost inpatient and nursing-home care. Though we have not done a complete survey of our members’ Medicare costs, it is not unreasonable to assume that our members have, or will, experience similar cost savings. It is disconcerting, however, that these improvements in health and efficiency will be undone by deficit reduction strategies that target Medicare. Although phase one of the debtceiling deal does not target Medicare and Medicaid, it does allow the 12-member commission to cut Medicare. I commend our legislators for taking such cuts off the table in the first phase, but I remain concerned that future cuts will directly target the doctors and therapies that are so critical to the health of our retirees. An online survey of more than 9,000 physicians conducted by the American Medical Association found that practices are already making changes based on underpayments from Medicare. About 17 percent of all physicians who accept Medicare patients are restricting the number of beneficiaries they see. And more than 30 percent of primary care physicians said they limit their Medicare patient load. For both sets of physicians, the top two reasons cited were that Medicare rates were too low to cover the cost of caring for See Medicare, page 14

Seattle National Labor Relations Board judge hears Boeing case By Amelia Pillsbury A hearing before an administrative law judge of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is underway in Seattle over allegations of illegal retaliation. According to the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the allegation is a response to Boeing’s recent announcement that it was transferring an airplane production line from a union facility in Washington to a nonunion facility in South Carolina.

“When Boeing announced that its main reason for moving a substantial amount of 787 Dreamliner assembly to South Carolina was that those employees had exercised rights guaranteed to them under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), that was illegal retaliation – a clear violation of federal law,” IAM said in a statement. Now, with the hearing underway, the IAM encourages due process instead of “trying

this case in the press or on the floor of Congress.” Boeing had been engaged in collective bargaining with the union prior to the Acting General Counsel’s filing of the complaint, but the company’s public announcement is not expected to help its case. “We had some very productive discussions with the union and unfortunately, we just didn’t come to an agreement where we felt we could ensure production stability. We just

could not get to a place where we both felt it was a win for both ourselves and the union, so we made the decision to go to Charleston,” said Boeing Chief Executive Officer Jim Albaugh in an interview with the Seattle Times on March 2. During the hearing, both parties have the opportunity to present facts and evidence before the judge and argue in their own favor. The losing party may appeal the judge’s decision to the NLRB by filing

exceptions. The NLRB is charged with enforcing the NLRA, sometimes called the Wagner Act, which has been in effect since 1935 and applies to all 50 states. The NLRA serves as a protection to workers when acting together to improve the work lives for themselves and their families. The NLRA prohibits employers from coercing, intimidating or retaliating against workers who exercise protected rights.

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Common Ground

Health from page 7 provide public input on the major policy decisions that the state will face in implementing an exchange. This board will work alongside existing work groups of the Rhode Island Healthcare Reform Commission to guide the work of the implementation project. How will the exchange be staffed? A director will need to be hired to head up this project. That individual will then recommend appropriate staffing to the governor, with input from the board. The actual business operations, maintaining the web-based marketplace and completing the eligibility and enrollment processes, will be conducted by private vendors through contracts with the state,

but the division of the executive department created by the executive order will be responsible for issuing and overseeing those contracts. Why do we need to spend millions of dollars on something like this? The Rhode Island Health Benefit Exchange is one of the requirements set forth in the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA). The federal law gives states flexibility and funding to design their own exchanges by 2014. Otherwise, the federal government will implement an exchange at the federal level, and Rhode Islanders would have to purchase through that exchange. The Rhode Island Healthcare Reform Commission has

OCTOBER 2011 chosen to pursue a custom-built exchange to one that is imposed upon the state by the federal government. The model will require expertise in different technologies to design and implement the infrastructure of the exchange. Beginning in 2014, all Rhode Islanders who don’t get insurance through their employer and some small businesses, will be able to buy easy-to-understand health insurance through an exchange that was built with their specific needs in mind. For more about the Health Benefits Exchange, visit Elizabeth Roberts is lieutenant governor of Rhode Island.


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Unemployment estimates in Mass. markets decline Monthly statewide rate declines from 7.8% in July to 7% in August The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported that the August seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates were down both over the month and over the year. The statewide rate was 7 percent, down from 7.8 percent in July, and down from 8.2 percent in August 2010. Monthly job gains occurred in the Peabody and Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton areas, while the remaining 10 areas posted job losses. Over the month, trade, transportation and utilities jobs increased in 7 of the 12 areas. The August job estimates reflect approximately 6,100 striking workers in the information sector, who were not on company payrolls at the time of this survey. Seven of the area estimates

were affected by the strike, with the largest impact in the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy area. Over the year, 11 areas added jobs while the Barnstable area posted a loss. The largest gains occurred in the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Worcester, Pittsfield, Framingham and Brockton-BridgewaterEaston areas. The Pittsfield area also had the largest over-the-year growth rate at 8.2 percent, followed by Worcester at 3.5 percent. The statewide seasonally adjusted jobs estimate, released on Aug. 18, showed an 8,900-job loss. The rate was 7.4 percent, down .2 percent from the 7.6 percent rate posted in July, and down 1 percentage point from 8.4 percent in August 2010. That figure

remains well below the national rate of 9.1 percent. The unadjusted unemployment rates and job estimates for the labor market areas reflect seasonal fluctuations and therefore may show different levels and trends than the statewide seasonally adjusted estimates. NOTES: The September 2011 unemployment rate, labor force data and jobs estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Oct. 20; local unemployment statistics will be released on Oct. 25. Detailed labor market information is available at See the revised February 2011 Media Advisory annual schedule for complete listing of release dates.

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Common Ground

Infrastructure from page 11 Trades Department has been working with investment funds to finance retrofits for commercial, industrial and public buildings, particularly public housing. Promising conversations are also under way with new state sponsored entities in Oregon and Colorado. Finally, joint labor management apprenticeship programs in the U.S. construction industry have added 8,000 registered apprenticeships. Those programs have enabled nearly 40,000 construction workers to complete their certification training in specialty fields such as green

electrical applications, green plumbing and pipefitting, specialty welding and green heating and air conditioning. Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI annual meetings have brought together nearly 150 current and former heads of state, 18 Nobel laureates and hundreds of CEOs, philanthropists and leaders of nongovernmental organizations.


Medicare from page 11 patients, and that the constant threat of cuts made Medicare an unreliable payer. More cuts to Medicare would tip the balance away from patients, putting care further out of reach for many, and striking a serious blow to ongoing wellness efforts. Preventing and managing chronic diseases among our retirees should be treated as a national priority, not a line on a balance sheet. Retirees face daunting challenges trying to understand their conditions, navigate the complex health


care system and make the changes required to improve their health. Mr. Kerry and the congressional committee should be champions of Medicare as they figure out what additional reforms to make as part of the deficit reduction process. Let’s not impede the progress we have made with shortsighted cost savings that will eventually limit our options for true long-term cost savings. Dr. Joseph Boffa is director of the Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans HealthLink Wellness of New England.




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500 members of Alliance for Retired Americans go to Capitol Hill for Super Committee’s initial meeting By John Pernorio

On Sept. 8, 500 seniors met with their representatives and senators to voice their concerns about Social Security, Medicare and other issues close to their hearts. The activists, including a representative from Rhode Island, went to Capitol Hill as part of the 2011 Alliances for Retired Americans (ARA) Legislative Conference, reaching more than 200 offices with the message: Don’t balance the budget on the backs of seniors. The appointments came on the same day as the first meeting of the Congressional Super Committee, which is deciding how to tackle the deficit. This year’s alliance conference — themed “Celebrating Our Past, Fighting for Your Future,” and commemorating the 10 anniversary of the Alliance — took place from Sept. 6-9 through Sept. 9, in Washington, D.C. “Congress needs to know that we are keeping a close eye on them. That is why we are here this week,”said Barbara J. Easterling, president of the alliance. At their appointments, alliance members left letters that summed up their points from the meetings: Social Security has not caused the deficit and should not be part of debt reduction strategies; turning Medicare into a voucher program will do nothing to reduce the cost of health care, but it will shift huge medical costs onto seniors; raising the Medicare eligibility age is especially cruel, since older Americans face the most difficulty in finding insurance due to chronic health conditions. The Rhode Island ARA is circulating a petition

titled, Tell the Super Committee in Congress: Keep Your Hands off Social Security, along with postcards reading, “Strengthen Social Security…Don’t Cut It.” The cards ask people to give a brief statement on how Social Security and Medicare affects then. Some of the responses that came back on the cards were: “As a newly retired teacher, I am both frustrated and frightened by the ongoing current assault of retiree programs. Please support these programs so we can live with dignity after having fulfilled our obligations,” writes Lynn. “With the rising cost of medical care, food, housing, and just trying to live, cutting Social Security and Medicare will make it impossible to get by,” writes Barbara. “My decision to retire in June 2009, was based on carefully figuring out what my pension and Social Security benefits would be, any changes to this will have serious consequences for me and my family,” writes Jean. “I have already lost numerous pension benefits which I had counted on. Please protect Social Security and Medicare,” writes Elizaeth. “Social Security is not an extra for my family. It is what we live on and pay all bills with. Medicare is my husband’s medical insurance,” writes Nicki. This is just a sampling of the hundreds of statements that people are sending in. The petition and cards will be presented to the Rhode Island Congressional

delegation in October. If you belong to an organization and would like to distribute the petition and cards, please contact me at As the RI ARA motto states, we are truly fighting for our members’ futures. John Pernorio is president of the Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans.

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Rhode Island Retirement Security Coalition launches YouTube video explaining Ocean State pension problem The Rhode Island Retirement Security Coalition has released a YouTube video on its Web site that explains the pension problem in Rhode Island. The 10 minute video contains a tutorial on the history of Rhode Island’s pension system, as well as an explanation of the current predicament. “The video’s intent is to inform our members of how we got into this situation,” stated George Nee, chairman of the coalition. “For too long, public employees have been attacked and scapegoated for Rhode Island’s pension problem. There is too much misinformation out there. We want to set the record straight and let people know that this is not the fault of hard working police officers, firefighters, teachers, or state/municipal employees. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. “Public employees have always contributed their fair share to the pension system. They never missed a payment — which can’t be said for some past politicians who failed to make the required employer contribution. And not only have the workers never missed a payment, but they have been the only group to help solve this problem — to the tune of $500 million in cuts to their pensions over the past six years. All the while, we continue to give tax breaks

to the wealthiest Rhode Island residents and corporations. We think Rhode Island’s priorities need to be straightened out.” The coalition is a group of unions representing public employees across the state. It was created to educate members of the unions about potential changes to the state retirement system. The video is part of the coalition’s campaign to fight against pension changes. The coalition is also expected to launch TV, radio and Internet ads, as well as a major grassroots effort by union members. The YouTube video can be seen on the coalition’s website, It explains the differences between defined contribution plans and defined benefit plans, the formula used for a defined contribution plan and the changes that have been made to the formula in the past. The video also informs viewers how they can keep government from changing the formula again. “We feel this should be a 1 million person solution,” concluded Nee. “It should not be solved on the backs of just the hard-working and dedicated public employees who did not create the problem. All Rhode Islanders deserve a dignified retirement.”

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Common Ground



Community Players opening season with timeless comedy about business The Community Players theater group is opening its 91st season with the hit Broadway musical, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” Performances are scheduled for Oct. 7 to 9, 14 to 16 and 21 to 23 in the auditorium of Jenks Junior High School on Division Street. The curtain goes up at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students through high school. The musical comedy follows the adventures of window washer J. Pierrepont Finch, who, with the aid of the trusty self-help book “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” rises through the

ranks of the Worldwide Wicket Company from mail clerk to executive in record time. Originally produced on Broadway in 1961, the timeless musical by Frank Loesser, with a book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert, has won multiple Tony awards as well as the Pulitzer Prize for drama. A revival of the play is running on Broadway to rave reviews. The Community Players’ production is being directed by Greg Geer and choreographed by Lennie Machado. The musical director is Ron Procopio. To purchase tickets, go online to www. or call (401) 726-6860.

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Bill Whitehead Jr. and Ashley Arnold will star in The Community Players’ production of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” at Jenks Junior High School, Division Street, Pawtucket.

“The Producers” coming to Woonsocket’s Stadium Theatre The Encore Repertory Company, which brought you “Rent” last season, will be presenting Mel Brooks’s hilarious musical comedy “The Producers,” at the Stadium Theatre in Woonsocket on Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m.; and Oct. 16 at 2 p.m. “The Producers,” which won a record 12 Tony Awards, is an outrageous, hilarious, off-the-wall comedy. The plot is simple: A down-on-his-luck Broadway producer and his accountant come up with a scheme to produce the most

notorious flop in history, thereby bilking their backers (all “little old ladies”) out of millions of dollars. Only one thing goes wrong: the show is a smash hit. Combining a truly hysterical book, co-written by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan, with music and lyrics by Brooks, “The Producers” skewers Broadway traditions and proudly proclaims itself an “equal opportunity offender.” Admission is $19 and tickets are available at the Stadium Theatre Box Office or by calling (401) 762-4545 and

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Petrarca & Petrarca

online at Encore Repertory Company’s production of “The Producers” is made possible by the generous sponsorship of Bourget and Associates, Inc. The Stadium Theatre Performing Arts Centre offers outstanding local, regional, nationally and internationally renowned live entertainment in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. For more information on upcoming events visit


OCTOBER Fri. 7 Sun. 9 Fri. 14 Sun. 16 Fri. 21 Sun. 23 Fri. 28 Sun. 30 NOVEMBER Fri. 4 Sun. 6 Fri. 11 Fri. 18 Sun. 20 DECEMBER Fri. 2 Fri. 9 Sun. 11 Fri. 16 Sun. 18 JANUARY Fri. 6 Sun. 8 Fri. 13 Fri. 20 Sun. 22 Fri. 27 FEBRUARY Fri. 3 Fri. 10 Sun. 12 Fri. 17 Sun. 19 MARCH Fri. 2 Sun. 4 Fri. 9 Sun. 18 Fri. 23 Sun. 25 APRIL Fri. 6 Fri. 13 Sun. 15


St. John’s IceCaps Worcester Sharks Manchester Monarchs Portland Pirates Worcester Sharks Albany Devils Norfolk Admirals St. John’s IceCaps

7:05 p.m. 4:05 p.m. 7:05 p.m. 4:05 p.m. 7:05 p.m. 4:05 p.m. 7:05 p.m. 4:05 p.m.

Manchester Monarchs Norfolk Admirals Manchester Monarchs Springfield Falcons Connecticut Whale

7:05 p.m. 4:05 p.m. 7:05 p.m. 7:05 p.m. 4:05 p.m.

Connecticut Whale Manchester Monarchs Connecticut Whale Springfield Falcons Bridgeport Sound Tigers

7:05 p.m. 7:05 p.m. 4:05 p.m. 7:05 p.m. 4:05 p.m.

Portland Pirates Bridgeport Sound Tigers Worcester Sharks Worcester Sharks Springfield Falcons Worcester Sharks

7:05 p.m. 4:05 p.m. 7:05 p.m. 7:05 p.m. 4:05 p.m. 7:05 p.m.

Springfield Falcons Portland Pirates Albany Devils Hershey Bears Connecticut Whale

7:05 p.m. 7:05 p.m. 4:05 p.m. 7:05 p.m. 4:05 p.m.

Adirondack Phantoms Bridgeport Sound Tigers W-B/Scranton Penguins Springfield Falcons Manchester Monarchs Portland Pirates

7:05 p.m. 4:05 p.m. 7:05 p.m. 4:05 p.m. 7:05 p.m. 4:05 p.m.

Worcester Sharks Bridgeport Sound Tigers Portland Pirates

7:05 p.m. 7:05 p.m. 4:05 p.m.

OCTOBER Sat. 15 Sat. 22 Sat. 29 NOVEMBER Sat. 5 Sat. 12 Sun. 13 Sat. 19 Wed. 23 Fri. 25 Sat. 26 DECEMBER Sat. 3 Sat. 10 Sat. 17 Mon. 26 Wed. 28 Fri. 30 Sat. 31 JANUARY Sat. 7 Sat. 14 Sun. 15 Sat. 21 Wed. 25 FEBRUARY Sat. 4 Tue. 7 Wed. 8 Sat. 18 Fri. 24 Sat. 25 Sun. 26 MARCH Sat. 10 Sun. 11 Fri. 16 Sat. 24 Fri. 30 Sat. 31 APRIL Sun. 1 Sat. 7 Sat. 14

@ Springfield Falcons @ Portland Pirates @ Bridgeport Sound Tigers

7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m.

@ Manchester Monarchs @ Portland Pirates @ Worcester Sharks @ Portland Pirates @ Hershey Bears @ Norfolk Admirals @ Norfolk Admirals

7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:15 p.m.

@ Manchester Monarchs @ Connecticut Whale @ Connecticut Whale @ Manchester Monarchs @ Portland Pirates @ Springfield Falcons @ Manchester Monarchs

7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m.

@ Worcester Sharks @ Bridgeport Sound Tigers @ Springfield Falcons @ Worcester Sharks @ W-B/Scranton Penguins

7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:05 p.m.

@ Adirondack Phantoms @ St. John’s IceCaps @ St. John’s IceCaps @ Springfield Falcons @ Worcester Sharks @ Bridgeport Sound Tigers @ Manchester Monarchs

7:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m.

@ Worcester Sharks @ Portland Pirates @ Worcester Sharks @ Connecticut Whale @ Albany Devils @ Springfield Falcons

7:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m.

@ Connecticut Whale @ Bridgeport Sound Tigers @ Albany Devils

3:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m.

All game times are Eastern Standard Time (EST)

Providence Bruins - 1 LaSalle Square - Providence, RI - 02903

Phone: 401-273-5000 Fax: 401-273-5004

Common Ground


Page 19

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers - LOCAL UNION 99

Michael K. Daley Business Manager

22 Amflex Drive • Cranston, R.I. 02921

James Jackson President

(401) 946-9900 • Fax (401) 946-9907


Homeowners Welcome!

UA Local Union 51

Plumbers • Pipefitters • Refrigeration Robert Walker Business Manager

Robert Walker Financial Secretary

Frederick Foeri Organizer/Agent

William D. Mello Business Agent

Done Once. Done Right Serving Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts

II Hemingway Drive, East Providence, Rhode Island 02915 Telephone: 401-943-3033. Fax: 401-943-8027

Page 20

Common Ground


Radio Show

Common Ground

Lousy food, a total lack of sleep, and used plastic milk crates for a bookcase. Isn’t life’s journey awesome? E-Access Student Checking It’s the free checking account designed specifically for the student in your family.* • ATM fees refunded (up to $25.00 per month)

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• One non-sufficient funds fee refund • per calendar year

• Free Mobile and Text Banking

• Free E-Statements

• Free Online Banking

Stop by any branch, call 401.233.4700, or open an account online at

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Hosted by John J. Tassoni, Jr. Monday Afternoons 3pm – 5pm on AM 790

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Partnering with Rhode Island’s Municipalities to Provide the Most Effective and Cost-efficient Public Employee Benefits

The Rhode Island Public Employees’ Health Services Fund

The Rhode Island Public Employees’ Legal Services Fund

Representing the Public Servants who make government work!


DONALD S. IANNAZZI, ESQ, Business Manager

The Rhode Island Public Employees’ Education, Training and Apprenticeship Fund


Cranston Crossing Guards Narragansett Town Hall Town of North Kingstown North Providence Crossing Guards Lincoln Highway Department Lincoln Water Commission Providence Community Action Program Providence Civic Center Authority Providence School Department R.I. Department of Transportation Lincoln Public Library Warwick Crossing Guards Narragansett Bay Commission North Providence School Department Town of North Providence Lincoln Town Hall City of Providence

Donald S. Iannazzi, Esq., Chairman

Vicki A. Virgilio Trustee Sharen Gleckman Trustee Betty Jackson Liaison

Pasquale T. D’Amico Trustee Joseph F. Kenney Trustee Chris Lombardi Coordinator

Rhode Island’s Union Built, Operated and Staffed Facilities Roger Williams Park Casino

accommodating 50 - 300 • (401) 941-5640 • (401) 785-9450

city center skating rink

accommodating groups from 10 - 400 • (401) 331-5544 ext. 5

Common Ground RI - October 2011  

Common Ground RI October issue

Common Ground RI - October 2011  

Common Ground RI October issue