By Dee DeQuattro, WPRO News
Judge Sarah Taft-Carter has order mediation talks between state and union officials in order to reach an agreement regarding the Rhode Island’s recent pension overhaul law.
The order came down on Tuesday after both parties met with the judge in a pretrial conference. Robert Walsh tells WPRI-TV he is “pleased” by the order and believes the only way to resolve the issue is to sit down and work it out.
The decision follows a week of political back-and-forth between Governor Lincoln Chafee, who wanted to try to negotiate a settlement with the unions and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo who said the matter should be resolved in court. Speaker of the House Gordon Fox supported Raimondo noting that the time for negotiations had passed.
Raimondo had said she would be willing to participate in talks with the unions if it was court ordered.
Taft-Carter appointed the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to oversee the talks according to WPRI.
No definite date or time for when the negotiations will begin has been set.