Providence police union will vote Thursday on pension deal

Providence’s landmark pension settlement is nearing the homestretch.

The 428 active members of the Providence Fraternal Order of Police will vote Thursday from 2 to 7 p.m. by secret ballot on whether to approve the deal negotiated with Mayor Angel Taveras to shore up the capital city’s underfunded retirement system, union president Taft Manzotti told WPRI 12’s Tim White.

Manzotti said he has “no idea” how the vote will go, although the union provided information and held meetings to help explain the deal. “It all comes down to the perception of the city of Providence,” he told White. “Does this membership believe the city is going to honor their word? That’s what it all comes down to with us. We have tried to make sure everything is accurate and proper.”

Manzotti said he expects to know the outcome of the vote by 7:45 p.m. The other stakeholders in the pension deal – Local 1033, the firefighters union and the retirees – have already accepted it. Taveras said on “Newsmakers” last week he is hopeful the settlement will be approved.

The Providence pension deal has become a hot topic at the state level as Gov. Lincoln Chafee and Treasurer Gina Raimondo argue over whether they should follow the mayor’s lead and try to settle union lawsuits challenging the state pension law; Raimondo and Taveras are potential rivals for the 2014 Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

After the jump, two charts on the nuts-and-bolts of the settlement and the next steps.

Mayor Taveras’s office distributed this chart explaining what has to happen next (click to enlarge):

And here’s a second chart from the mayor’s office detailing what’s in the settlement (click to enlarge):

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