All Posts, The Way I See It|

I hope your holidays were enjoyable and spent with those you love most. The calendar has turned the page to a new year and as it does we return to our ordinary lives once again, both individually and collectively.

January also signifies the beginning of the legislative season here in Rhode Island. As I mentioned in this column in October, we began a campaign of attempting to bring to light the inequities of the tax-exempt system here in the state with regards to the universities and hospitals. Up to this point it has been leaflet distribution and an op-ed in But now, with the convening of the General Assembly it will begin to escalate into an attempt to actually get some legislation passed to amend these wrongs.

President Johnston has been in touch with Representative McKiernan regarding a bill he recently introduced along with Reps Slater, Almeida, Hull & Lombardi for this very purpose – RI House Bill #5139. When this process begins we will turn to our membership to actively contact and lobby their own Rep and State Senator to support this bill. It is only through quick and strong collective pressure that we will succeed. Any member who has not already registered their e-mail in the “Contact Us” section on this website please do so asap so that we may make notifications on this on a timely basis.

Also, it has been reported recently by the mayor that members of his administration along with representatives of retired Providence police and firefighters have been meeting to discuss possible changes to save the City money in its pension payments. This is entirely false. There has been no contact between the mayor or anyone from his staff with anyone from this Association. The official stance of the PPFRA regarding any suggested changes to the present agreement is, both sides shall adhere to the agreement or the whole agreement will become null and void.

This statement by the mayor illustrates the importance of us, as an organization, to remain pro-active. This is why we have been out front on the tax exempt issue and why we will remain vigilant to any attempts by any person or group to change our benefits or even beginning discussions about us making future concessions.

Stay safe and healthy….

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the monthly commentary “The Way I See It” are Tom Kenney’s and not necessarily those of The Providence Police & Firefighters Retirement Association.

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