To the Editor:
If you were paying attention at all last fall, or if you read the July 29, 2019 press release from the East Greenwich Town Council, the conclusion is clear: East Greenwich Democrats have voted to become a subsidiary of the International Association of Firefighters, Local 3328, East Greenwich.
The first action of this newly-elected Democrat Town Council was to walk away from the Fair Labor Standards case, William Perry et al, v. East Greenwich, in which the Town of East Greenwich had a clear interest and a quite reasonable chance of success. Instead, the five Democrats on the Town Council “negotiated” a settlement of these claims for just under $300,000. William Perry, by the way, is the President of the East Greenwich Firefighters Union, and a Lieutenant in the East Greenwich Fire Department.
Score 1 for the East Greenwich Firefighters.
In another lawsuit, Laurie Perry v. East Greenwich, Ms. Perry alleged she was illegally terminated from the East
Greenwich finance department after a town official questioned her qualifications for the job and later inquired about criminal convictions. This is factually incorrect. Ms. Perry was a layoff following a legal layoff process that was UPHELD IN ARBITRATION. The settlement to Ms. Perry, according to new reports, is $90,000 and reinstatement in her former position. Ms. Perry, by the way, is the wife of William Perry, the President of the East Greenwich Firefighters Union and a Lieutenant in the East Greenwich Fire Department.
Score 2 for the East Greenwich Firefighters.
Robert Warner was a firefighter in East Greenwich for seventeen years. In 2018, Warner was terminated for destroying town computer files, and later arrested and charged with destruction of town property. Given the facts in the matter, Lt. Warner was charged with two felony counts. He plead NOLO and received a sentence. He remains a convicted person. It is highly unlikely an arbitrator would have overturned what the Attorney General and a Judge had already decided. Warner was terminated by a vote of 5-0 by the previous council, including current Town Council President Dr. Mark Schwager. The Town Council agreed to the settlement, in part, because “Warner’s actions took place in a highly unusual time in our community when emotions were running high.” What changed? The amount of money the IAFF Union spent to flip the Town Council to Democrats.
Score 3 for the East Greenwich Firefighters.
In East Greenwich v. IAFF Local 3328, the prior administration had sued the firefighters union seeking, among other things, a declaration that the town could unilaterally change its contract with town firefighters, altering the platoon structure in the middle of the contract term. This was done in an effort to exercise management prerogatives over the continually increasing labor costs within the firefighter union contract. Instead, the newly-elected Town Council chose to negotiate a new fire contract largely acceding to the firefighters claims. The new contract INCREASES payments and benefits to the firefighters and increased the pensionable amounts of firefighters’ pay. The firefighters union took the opportunity of the bought-and-paid-for-council to increase their lead as one of the highest compensated, directly into their retirements -- all to the detriment of the East Greenwich resident and taxpayer.
Score 4 for the East Greenwich Firefighters.
In Unfair Labor Practice complaints Nos. 6217, 6220 and 6226, the prior administration was subject to charges before the State Labor Relations Board of over thirty unfair labor practices in dealing with the firefighters union (ridiculous complaints such as not providing hi-definition and premium cable TV). The newly-elected East Greenwich Town Council “convinced” the union to withdraw all thirty complaints in light of the above-mentioned settlements, among others.
Score 5 for the East Greenwich Firefighters.
None of this comes as a coincidence. Firefighters began injecting themselves in town government issues months ahead of the 2018 elections. They endorsed every Democrat running for office in East Greenwich. Almost certainly, it was firefighters money behind several town-wide mailings opposing the then Town Council during the election. And the now-Vice President of the East Greenwich Town Council was shown giving a high-five and embracing an East Greenwich Firefighter union member in a bearhug as election returns were coming in.
Coincidence? Not by a long-shot. East Greenwich clearly now has the best government that firefighter money can buy. We are nearly completely and officially owned and operated by the International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 3328.
And you thought it was all about safety.
East Greenwich Republican Town Committee