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art.028/1

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2012 -- H7323

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ARTICLE 28

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RELATING TO CENTRAL FALLS

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     SECTION 1. In providing a one-time lump-sum appropriation to the City of Central Falls

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for the benefit of municipal retirees who sustained significant pension reductions, the State

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hereby restricts the use of said funds by Public Law otherwise referred to as “the Appropriation

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Legislation.” The restrictions shall conform with the provisions in that certain Settlement

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Agreement entered into by and among the Receiver for the City of Central Falls, the State of

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Rhode Island Department of Revenue, Central Falls Police Retirees Association, Inc., Central

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Falls Firefighter Retirees Association, Inc., and each and every one of the individuals who signed

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the Settlement Agreement, including the Central Falls Police or Firefighter retirees, or each of

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their surviving spouses or beneficiaries. This Settlement Agreement, approved by the Federal

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Bankruptcy Court in the matter of In Re: City of Central Falls, Rhode Island Chapter 9, Case No.

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11-13105-FJB on January 9, 2012, provides in relevant part as follows:

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     4.1. The Appropriation Legislation shall provide that the proceeds of the above-

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referenced one-time lump sum payment be immediately deposited by the City into a restricted

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federally backed or federally insured interest-bearing account under the name of the City and

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denominated the “Participating Retirees’ Restricted 5-Year Account.” Within thirty (30) days

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after receipt of the appropriation from the State, for fiscal year ending 2012, the City (jointly with

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either the Receiver or an administrative and finance officer appointed by the Director for the

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City) shall withdraw from the Participating Retirees’ Restricted 5-Year Account exactly the funds

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needed to and shall thereupon promptly pay and distribute to Participating Retirees the so-called

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“Appropriation Payments” set forth on APPENDIX B. Thereafter, during the months of July in

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fiscal years ending 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, the City (jointly with either the Receiver or an

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administrative and finance officer appointed by the Director for the City) shall withdraw from the

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Participating Retirees’ Restricted 5-Year Account exactly the funds needed to and shall thereupon

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promptly pay and distribute to Participating Retirees the so-called “Appropriation Payments” set

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forth on APPENDIX B.

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     Any and all withdrawals, transfers and payments from the Participating Retirees’

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Restricted 5-Year Account shall require the signature of two (2) persons, one of whom shall be

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either the Receiver or an administrative and finance officer of the City after the Receiver’s duties

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are completed. Within thirty (30) days of the end of fiscal year ending 2016, the City shall

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withdraw the balance of the funds in the Participating Retirees’ Restricted 5-Year Account (i.e.

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the accumulated interest and any remaining sums) and shall pay and distribute those funds to each

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Participating Retiree based on the percentage assigned to each Participating Retiree in

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APPENDIX B under the column entitled “Assigned Percentage,” (such Assigned Percentage

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being the percentage portion that each individual Participating Retiree’s “Step 3” amount is to the

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total of all Step 3 amounts for all Participating Retirees) including as the same may be adjusted

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for any Participating Retiree added or deleted after the Contract Date. After all of the funds in the

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Participating Retirees’ Restricted 5-Year Account have been appropriately distributed, the City

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shall promptly close the Participating Retirees’ Restricted 5-Year Account. The Appropriation

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Legislation shall provide that the Appropriation Payments shall be used solely for the purposes

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and subject to the restrictions set forth in this Agreement and in the Plan, and shall provide for

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and impose personal liability (among other penalties) on the part of any person who utilizes the

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funds in the Participating Retirees’ Restricted 5-Year Account for any purpose other than as set

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forth in this Agreement and the Plan.

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     4.2. The Appropriation Legislation and/or a City ordinance shall further provide that the

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Participating Retirees’ Restricted 5-Year Account shall remain under the control of the City

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jointly with either the Receiver or an administrative and finance officer appointed by the Director

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for the City, and that it shall be segregated from and shall not be controlled or managed by any

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third party managing the single Central Falls Pension Plan, whether administered by the City or if

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transitioned into the state-administered Municipal Employee Retirement System (“MERS”).

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Further, the Appropriation Payments shall be paid to Participating Retirees jointly by the City and

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the Receiver or an administrative and finance officer appointed by the Director for the City, and

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not by any third-party pension fund manager. Such Appropriation Payments shall cease after the

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distribution at the end of fiscal year ending 2016 as provided for in Section 4.1 has been

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completed.

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     The Appropriation Payments shall not be included in the calculation of the base pension

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benefits of Participating Retirees for purposes of determining a Participating Retiree’s COLA.

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However, a spouse or statutory beneficiary under R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-21.3-1 shall be entitled to

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67.5% of a deceased Participating Retiree’s Appropriation Payment.

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     4.3. The City, as overseen by the Receiver or an administrative and finance officer, as the

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case may be, shall maintain appropriate account information and records relating to all receipts

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into, maintenance of, and distributions from the Participating Retirees’ Restricted 5-Year

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Account, and shall allow at all reasonable times for the full inspection of and copying and sharing

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of information about such account and any and all Appropriation Payments by and with any

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Participating Retiree.

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     4.4. Any money distributed to a Participating Retiree from the Participating Retirees’

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Restricted 5-Year Account and not claimed by a Participating Retiree after the City has exercised

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good faith attempts over a six (6) month period to deliver it to the best last known address of such

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Participating Retiree shall not escheat under state law, but shall be deposited in the “Participating

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Retirees Wyatt Payments Account” as defined in Section 5.2, which shall thereafter be distributed

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based on the Assigned Percentage to the remaining Participating Retirees at the time of the next

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distribution in accordance with the assigned percentage set forth on APPENDIX B.

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     SECTION 2. Section 28-9.1-6 of the General Laws in Chapter 28-9.1 entitled

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“Firefighters’ Arbitration” is hereby amended to read as follows:

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     28-9.1-6. Obligation to bargain. -- It shall be the obligation of the city or town, acting

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through its corporate authorities, to meet and confer in good faith with the representative or

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representatives of the bargaining agent within ten (10) days after receipt of written notice from

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the bargaining agent of the request for a meeting for collective bargaining purposes. This

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obligation shall include the duty to cause any agreement resulting from the negotiations to be

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reduced to a written contract, provided that no contract shall exceed the term of one year, unless a

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longer period is agreed upon in writing by the corporate authorities and the bargaining agents, but

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in no event shall the contract exceed the term of three (3) years unless a receiver has been

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appointed for a municipality pursuant to Chapter 45-9, in which case the contract shall not exceed

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the term of five (5) years. An unfair labor practice charge may be complained of by either the

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employer's representative or the bargaining agent to the state labor relations board which shall

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deal with the complaint in the manner provided in chapter 7 of this title.

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     SECTION 3. Section 28-9.2-6 of the General Laws in Chapter 28-9.2 entitled “Municipal

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Police Arbitration” is hereby amended to read as follows:

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     28-9.2-6. Obligation to bargain. -- It shall be the obligation of the city or town, acting

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through its corporate authorities, to meet and confer in good faith with the designated

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representative or representatives of the bargaining agent, including any legal counsel selected by

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the bargaining agent, within ten (10) days after receipt of written notice from the bargaining agent

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of the request for a meeting for collective bargaining purposes. This obligation includes the duty

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to cause any agreement resulting from the negotiations to be reduced to a written contract,

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provided that no contract shall exceed the term of one year, unless a longer period is agreed upon

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in writing by the corporate authorities and the bargaining agent, but in no event shall the contract

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exceed the term of three (3) years unless a receiver has been appointed for a municipality

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pursuant to chapter 45-9, in which case the contract shall not exceed the term of five (5) years. An

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unfair labor charge may be complained of by either the employer's representative or the

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bargaining agent to the state labor relations board which shall deal with the complaint in the

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manner provided in chapter 7 of this title.

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     SECTION 4. Section 28-9.3-4 of the General Laws in Chapter 28-9.3 entitled “Certified

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School Teachers’ Arbitration” is hereby amended to read as follows:

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     28-9.3-4. Obligation to bargain. -- It shall be the obligation of the school committee to

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meet and confer in good faith with the representative or representatives of the negotiating or

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bargaining agent within ten (10) days after receipt of written notice from the agent of the request

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for a meeting for negotiating or collective bargaining purposes. This obligation includes the duty

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to cause any agreement resulting from negotiations or bargaining to be reduced to a written

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contract; provided, that no contract shall exceed the term of three (3) years unless a receiver has

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been appointed for a municipality pursuant to chapter 45-9, in which case the contract shall not

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exceed the term of five (5) years. An unfair labor practice charge may be complained of by either

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the bargaining agent or the school committee to the state labor relations board which shall deal

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with the complaint in the manner provided in chapter 7 of this title.

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     SECTION 5. Section 28-9.4-5 of the General Laws in Chapter 28-9.4 entitled “Municipal

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Employees’ Arbitration” is hereby amended to read as follows:

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     28-9.4-5. Obligation to bargain. -- It shall be the obligation of the municipal employer

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to meet and confer in good faith with the representative or representatives of the negotiating or

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bargaining agent within ten (10) days after receipt of written notice from the agent of the request

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for a meeting for negotiating or collective bargaining purposes. This obligation includes the duty

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to cause any agreement resulting from negotiation or bargaining to be reduced to a written

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contract; provided, that no contract shall exceed the term of three (3) years unless a receiver has

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been appointed for a municipality pursuant to chapter 45-9, in which case the contract shall not

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exceed the term of five (5) years. Failure to negotiate or bargain in good faith may be complained

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of by either the negotiating or bargaining agent or the municipal employer to the state labor

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relations board, which shall deal with the complaint in the manner provided in chapter 7 of this

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title. An unfair labor practice charge may be complained of by either the bargaining agent or

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employer's representative to the state labor relations board, which shall deal with the complaint in

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the manner provided in chapter 7 of this title.

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     SECTION 6. Under R.I. Gen. Laws §45-9-1 et seq. a municipality subject to the

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jurisdiction of a fiscal overseer, budget commission or receiver, is responsible for payment of

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expenses and costs incurred carrying out the responsibilities of the fiscal overseer, budget

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commission and/or receiver. During fiscal 2011, the State incurred and paid on behalf of the City

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of Central Falls expenses totaling $ 1,174,205.32. On or about September 15, 2011, the State

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billed the City of Central Falls for said $1,174,205.32. Expenses for which the City of Central

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Falls is responsible under the above-referenced law continue to be incurred and paid for by the

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State on behalf of the city. The State intends to bill the City of Central Falls for those expenses.

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Recognizing that the City of Central Falls does not currently have the financial ability to

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reimburse the State in full for said expenses and may need additional time to reimburse the State

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for expenses reflected in future bills rendered by the State for such expenses, the City of Central

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Falls shall have up to June 30, 2021 to reimburse the State for all such expenses paid by the State

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and billed to the city.

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     SECTION 7. This article shall be effective upon passage.

     

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