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PROVIDENCE â€“ On a fittingly balmy spring Monday, there were signs of a thaw in Woonsocketâ€™s relationship with its police union as the state-appointed Budget Commission retroactively approved a contract for fiscal 2013 with the International Brotherhood of Police Officers.
IBPO President Sgt. John Scully said later the police will not receive any raises or changes in benefits as a result of the accord. But it is expected to render moot a pending arbitration dispute over the contract, and temporarily set aside a Superior Court suit over the validity of the unionâ€™s existing collective bargaining agreements.
Scully said the union resumed negotiating with the administration of Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt recently and hopes to reach a five-year pact that dovetails with the commissionâ€™s five-year austerity plan.
â€śGenerally, itâ€™s a good thing I think,â€ť he said. â€śWeâ€™d rather have three-percent raises, but weâ€™re not pushing the issue. Weâ€™re just moving onto the next year. Weâ€™re hopeful we can iron out the details of a five-year plan thatâ€™s consistent with the commissionâ€™s plan and move the negotiations forward.â€ť
--Read the full version of this story in Tuesday's newspaper.