News Stories Just in the Last 24 Hours Highlight the Excessive Generosity of RI’s Public Sector Compensation


In today’s Providence Journal, we learn that the opt-out retirees brought in an expert to testify in their lawsuit about the change made by the City of Providence to their post-retirement healthcare coverage.

An expert hired by a group of city police and fire retirees testified in Superior Court on Monday that moving members of that group to Medicare from their previously promised city health care for life is exposing them to five-fold increases in health-care costs.

You mean they might be stuck with Medicare at age sixty five (like most people in the D.P.S.)? Oh no!

And the list of exceedingly generous benefits bestowed by contract on the retiring Cranston police captain who instigated Ticketgate is nothing less than obscene. The biggest one is that he is retiring AND STARTING TO COLLECT HIS TAXPAYER-FUNDED PENSION at age forty three. This is an absurdly generous and completely unaffordable benefit. Pensions should be paid to retirees starting at age sixty seven (or whatever the full retirement age for social security is/was at the employee’s start date of employment).

From the report yesterday by NBC 10’s Parker Gavigan.

A review of city and Rhode Island Treasury information shows Antonucci will receive $27,542 in state pension benefits. In addition, the now retired captain is entitled to approximately $15,879 in family healthcare benefits from the city of Cranston. The total package is approximately $43,421 a year, which could increase with the rising cost of healthcare. …

City records show Antonucci will also receive approximately $40,000 in what’s called “bust out pay,” an accumulation of unused sick, vacation and comp time.

  • Rhett Hardwick

    Monique, there is no reason for astonishment. It works because it works. The answer is “throw the bums out”; that attracts little interest. In a country, and state, where almost a quarter (23%) of voters draw a governmental paycheck, the voter opposition is stiff. Particularly if you add all the voting relatives of those governmental workers. Probably 40% of voters oppose cutting government pay and benefits. If you add up the governmental workers and various recipients of governmental largess, it is really amazing how few people we rely on to move this country forward.

  • Audrey

    I guess Rhode Island unions are oblivious to the point that taxpayers don’t have an endless supply of money to feed their benefits. Past practice does not equate to future assurances because things change, e.g; the price of healthcare. Many MA retirees are paying a portion of their healthcare, BC/BS has been eliminated from many retirement plans due to its expense and has been replaced with GIC-just as good a plan and less expensive to administer. Many MA retirees pay their own Medicare-also military retirees which my husband is one.MA has one of the strongest pension plans in the country-I suggest that RI take some lessons from it. If taxpayers were smart they would form coalitions within their towns and cities and counter sue these unions for causing fiscal instability and increased tax rates at a time in our economy where many young families and retires (with no COLAS) are struggling to get by.