.

State Rep., Former NK Firefighter Refuses Salary

Guthrie, a Coventry resident is the only member of the General Assembly who goes without the salary.

 

While numerous members of the General Assembly turned down a pay raise this year, one state representative is turning down his legislator's salary completely. According to RI Future, Representative Scott Guthrie (D-Dist. 28, Coventry), who has served in the House since 2008 turned down his $13,962 State House stipend entirely.

Guthrie, a retired North Kingstown firefighter, has sponsored multiple bills during the last three sessions that, if passed, would have raised taxes for Rhode Island’s richest residents. He declined to comment to RI Future's Bob Plain as to why he does not take the pay.

Along with Guthrie, 18 additional state legislators forgo the position's health insurance, including North Kingstown legislators Rep. Doreen Costa and Senator James Sheehan Click here for a full list of legislators who decline state health insurance and "waiver bonuses".

NK Taxpayer, too July 31, 2012 at 04:00 PM
@ NKGOPWATCH, your last blog indicates that you care about our town’s children. You want honest leaders with good morals. If this is true, why are you not outraged at the SC for hiring an out of state company with a despicable record for hiring felons, including drug and sex offenders? Many of our children arrive at school before 7:00AM and stay past 10PM at the HS. Our HS athletes arrive as early as 5:30AM. The children play on our school grounds. 35% of the custodians have left and probably more will be leaving because they just can not live on the wages GCA offers. That means GCA will have full control to hire their replacements at $8 per hour. I simply CAN NOT understand why a person who states that he admires good morals and honesty in leaders would not be outraged that the SC has no concern about the safety of our children & school employees!
Concerned Resident July 31, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Tale a deep breath and close your eyes allowing yourself to move into the present. Law suits or not it's a done deal so grow up like the rest of the town, state and country and stop spreading your self-serving propaganda! Now go back to your tired blog as here like there residents realize your interests......yea yea I know, it's for the kids. Byeeeeeeee.
NK Taxpayer, too July 31, 2012 at 04:49 PM
@ CR I figured I'd hear from the Town HYPOCRITE! How’s the money from your wife’s municipal pension working for you this summer?
Concerned Resident July 31, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Just as I figured I was done hearing from the town cryer........beacause as we all know, it's for the kids. Byeeeee.
NKGOP Watch July 31, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Thanks, I did google the GCA stuff. A lot of the displaced union workers and their support seemed intent to dig up what they can on GCA and amplify those issues. Did we not have a UNION NK JANITOR call in a BOMB THREAT over a work issue? Does that represent all the workers? The town needs to get labor costs in line with the taxpaying public's labor rates in order to balance government out so it can become affordable again before its too late. The $20/hr union janitor with benefits is just as off center from market rates as the $75,000 teacher with $25,000 in benefits is. Both are almost double market pay rates. There is a song that went like this "money for nuthin'. Well every dollar paid above market rates is "money for nuthin". This is a taxpayer talking who wants FAIR PAY, APPROPRIATE FOR THE JOB.
NKGOP Watch July 31, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Where did CR wife work?
NK Taxpayer, too July 31, 2012 at 06:25 PM
@NKGOPWATCH Again more misinformation. You must be using the China Google. I am not a displaced union worker. The cited information about GCA is FACT! I m a concerned parent. The double market rates you quote might applied if they worked in Mississippi, not the Northeast. Most of the NKESP staff make well below a living wage. As far the NK janitor you keep harping on, you are simply and unfairly categorizing all 26 custodian for the actions of one who was justly terminated. The information about GCA’s horrendous hiring practices has been reported in numerous newspapers across out the country. They are facts! I am a worried parent that is very upset with the 5 members of the SC who hired this company fully knowing GCA’s appalling hiring practices. If you really care about children and the honesty of elected officials, you should be outraged, too. FYI: If U want an answer to your last blog, read (U obvious pick and choose what U read) all the previous blogs.
Dark star July 31, 2012 at 07:49 PM
oh my god, when will you stop with the rhetoric about GCA? You people make me laugh. You only bring up the minuscule employment gaffs because deep down you hope it will be a problem. This way you all can whine I told you so". It will not be an issue. Please show me the HS students that are in the building at 5:30 am and after 10pm. If they are there for a school-related function, then the coach, teacher, etc responsible for these early and late functions will be there. You are so full of crap that I can smell you from here. Damn, you people are impossible to reason with. Ok lets bring all these janitors back immediately. Now genius, tell me what courses, classes, sports and clubs to cut. Then let me hear you complain about cutting the kids extra-curriculars. Please take your union talking-points elsewhere. You suck.
NKGOP Watch July 31, 2012 at 10:30 PM
Please dont misquote me. What I ACTUALLY said was that one bomb threat did NOT represent all the janitors. Just as a few issues among the tens of thousands of GCA employees does not impugn GCA. NK is a smart school community, they WILL notice anything amiss with GCA. But since the existing employees are now GCA emplyees, there should be no problems. As far as pay rates, 20 bucks an hour with all the perks is NOT the going market rate for janitor work. Sorry.
Rich July 31, 2012 at 10:37 PM
@ CR, sorry for the delay. I couldn't find my response in my union tactics for the minions handbook... Haha! As best I can tell I didn't answer 4 questions: Q: "Seems that you find it acceptable for public employee’s to obtain a tax free pension as tax paying residents pay their taxes " A: I do, specifically for police, fire and other inherently dangerous occupations in the public sector when an only when they are disabled in the execution of their duties. I support stringent and periodic review of such claims, as do in my estimation, the vast majority of my peers. Q:Although you skirted my last questions I will continue asking you at what is private sector employees retire for SS benefits?" A: Your question is unclear. Q:"what do you think would happen if ALL RI residents had the same benefits afforded public employee's? A: what do you mean what would happen? Q: What are you and or your union doing to prevent miss-use of public employee benefits? A: I can say that it's not an issue on my dept. We have an environment where being a glass doll is ridiculed and scorned. Of the few peers I have seen go out injured, none of have been questionable cases.
Concerned Resident August 01, 2012 at 02:57 PM
@ Rich Q: "Seems that you find it acceptable for public employee’s to obtain a tax free pension as tax paying residents pay their taxes” A: I do, specifically for police, fire and other inherently dangerous occupations in the public sector when an only when they are disabled in the execution of their duties. I support stringent and periodic review of such claims, as do in my estimation, the vast majority of my peers. R- Just as there are many dangerous occupations in the private sector I'm not sure of your justification of "tax free" disability of public over private.....? Q: Although you skirted my last questions I will continue asking you at what is private sector employees retire for SS benefits?" A: Your question is unclear. You are correct; sorry....I'll re-submit to you: what is the justification for public pensions being much larger and available at an earlier age than private sector / SS? Q:"what do you think would happen if ALL RI residents had the same benefits afforded public employee's? A: what do you mean what would happen? - in your condensed opinion / how could such be funded, what would happen to our system if across the board- all private residents / citizens had the same benefits (health, disability, pension etc) as public employees have?
Concerned Resident August 01, 2012 at 02:57 PM
You previously commented that to fund much on both the private and public side that the state should rein in entitlements and graft. I'm asking that since you feel such actions would benefit all, what are you and or your peers doing to accomplish such? Again, I look for to your response and dialog.
Concerned Resident August 02, 2012 at 04:03 PM
@Rich: have to wonder why the recent slow down of dialog on your part / comments.........could it be the direct questions?
NKtaxPAyerAlso August 02, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Maybe he is sick of you? Many find it interesting that all you do is stir the poop on here. Many think that all you do is post negative comments on EVERYTHING to do with union's. You make many people wonder as to your true intentions. Many have said to me that they believe you do not in fact live within the Town of North Kingstown, rather you work for the GOP and are just here to agree every union point.
Concerned Resident August 02, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Maybe he is sick of you? And maybe readers are sick of you! Many find it interesting that all you do is stir the poop on here. Are you many? Many think that all you do is post negative comments on EVERYTHING to do with union's. Again, sounds like you now calling yourself many! You make many people wonder as to your true intentions. Many as in you? Many have said to me that they believe you do not in fact live within the Town of North Kingstown, rather you work for the GOP and are just here to agree every union point. Interesting that you accuse me of not being from North Kingstown and not Rich.....must be that many thing again! Now please wipe the union (as you say) poop off of your nose.
NKtaxPAyerAlso August 02, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Ha I love ticking you off! Thanks for the laugh. Have a wonderful day buddy!
Concerned Resident August 02, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Back to you, have a great day!
Rich August 02, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Sorry, CR. Life and duty call and I hadn't thought much of this thread in the last couple days. You know better than to suggest the directness of the questions has scared me off! My response to public pensions being much larger and avail. earlier than in the private sector: I haven't seen anything to suggest that those in the private sector in line to recieve pensions from their employers recieve on average smaller pensions than public workers. If you show me some numbers or facts on this, I'll be happy to respond. As for public workers being able to retire sooner. I'll choose to defend only police and fire. I think we all agree that we don't want 60+ year old men on the frontlines in an emergency. The vast majority of police and fire will work well beyond 20 year minimum. If the do decide they can no longer do the job after 20, they can retire at a much reduced pension. A pension they put a lot of money into during their career mind you. Now, as for other occupations in the public sector who are afforded the ability to retire as early... Id leave it to them to defend as I can not. Take that as you will.
Rich August 02, 2012 at 06:32 PM
My response to your question about how to fund both public and private benefits so to make them both equal: They used to be unequal in the reverse when the private sector outshone the public. Then the leaders on the private sector enrichened themselves at the expense of their employees by slashing retirements and benefits. CEO compensation is up over 120% vs. the 4% for the rank and file. The private sectors pensions and benefits are in the 120%. How do we fund a return to normalcy? Rid this country of the private sectors greed. You aren't mad that firefighters, teachers and cops get a decent pay and retirement, you're pissed that the private sector middle class American doesn't. That's not the faults of the cops and teachers, it's the fault of corporate and wall street greed. As for what my peers and I do to bring about a reduction in the welfare state and graft: I do what any American. I've called my reps. I've spoken with them in person. I attend legishearing hearings and I've supported candidate who get it. I'd hazard that I'm in the top 25% of politically active non-players in RI. (ie. not a officeholder, lobbyist or big donor)
Rich August 02, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Whew, forgive the few spelling and grammatical errors. I was rushed!
Concerned Resident August 02, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Appreciate the response without concern to spelling etc. In continuing it seems that you're justification for much is due to private sector ceo compensation and benefits. It would seem that if you further consider such you might feel that this is weak argument. Let's put it this way, how about setting union pensions and benefits on par with the private sector until we find a means of decreasing ceo compensation allowing for increased public and private sector employee pensions, benefits etc. 3 cheers in recognizing your efforts to participate in a process of fixing what is broke. Again as you suggested that union pensions (along with other good thoughts) could be fully funded via proper entitlement expenditures....as with above how about we keep as is until the entitlement issue is properly fixed? I liken both examples to personally having home repair funds to cover one, the other or neither as you have yet to convince any how to cover a potential union victory in the pension law suit. Understanding that my questions are difficult yet possible to answer says much. In the end it is the taxpayer that will definitely lose with the unions most likely pulled down into the fray along with taxpayers.
Concerned Resident August 02, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Also, as you alluded I respect public workers such as yourself as many if not all are probably good people. On the other hand as an individual once indicated to me “unions just don’t care about taxpayers” Lastly, if it helps - no one of many similar to yourself answered the same or similar questions that I asked you. I could add to that thought but I think most is obvious to many if not all. While I’m disappointed in the apparent end result of our dialog I’m appreciative that you tried.
Concerned Resident August 02, 2012 at 08:54 PM
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/29/us-usa-pensions-policeandfire-idUSBRE86S02120120729?feedType=RSS
Rich August 03, 2012 at 12:54 AM
It always forgotten that we are taxpayers too. We pay all the same increased taxes as non union, non public employees pay. To say we don't care about taxpayers would be to say we don't care about ourselves. I read your link. I would just ask if you can deny that at this point public employees have endured considerable rollbacks to pay, benefits and retirement packages? As for funding a potential union victory in the case against the states unilateral changes. I think a victory for us isn't in getting all the money. You can't get blood from a stone. We get that. What we want is for it to be recognized that we are good citizens, more than willing to play our part in righting this ship. However, we won't allow this economy to be used as an excuse to break us, our bargaining rights or the laws protecting them. We have shown time and time again, respect us and we will do what is right and fair. That is what the NK lawsuit is about as well, not as you say: us saying gimme gimme gimme.
Concerned Resident August 03, 2012 at 01:55 AM
I can somewhat understand your point that you are also a taxpayer with a major distinction in that with all the other, you are paying for your benefits while I am paying for your benefits. Put most private sector employees in a visa versa situation with you and I'm pretty sure each side would be reversed on their opinions. I agree whole heartily with you comment about public employee rollbacks but come on, what is - was the justification of allowing public employee's to retire at (example) age 48? Is there justification for public unions to use show of force to make their point(s)? Have you seen where the NKFF have hired a firm to launch a campaign against their 24hr work schedule? Do you think that they will present across the board points as viewed from both sides? I thought that the courts were deciding such? You and I both know that the heart of the issue is pay - especially OT pay. This my friend is an example(s) of why there is continuing mistrust. Do I want ff to work 24 hr shifts - NO. Do I want my taxes to go up - NO. As I said before repeating again, you are probably a great caring person but when it comes to unions my trust is limited. I still recall watching the pension reform hearings shaking my head listening to the rank and file. This is so very unfortunate as potential good is over shadowed by the dark clouds of mistrust.
Concerned Resident August 03, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Once again I am appreciative of your dialog almost wishing I could enjoy a beer with you allowing us to continue this debate but alas I cannot. Have a great night.
Rich August 03, 2012 at 04:45 AM
Pay is absolutely part of the equation. However, it's not OT pay that is the issue as you suggest. These guys are working gobs of OT, they don't want it! Minimum manning is always tossed out at us like it's nothing but a scheme to get overtime. I won't deny that overtime results but here we have minnimum manning negatively impacting firefighters. These guys are being forced to work 60,70,80 hours a week. They literally can not leave work on pain of losing their job. Imagine working 48hrs straight and having a family at home who needs you for all the things a family needs a father and husband for. Then your boss calls and say, CR, I know the Mrs and the kids need you but I have to order you to stay at work for another 24hrs because of minimum manning, we need a guy to drive the truck tonight and you are it. Imagine that phone call to your wife and your kids begging you not to miss another ball game. Still, none of these men are calling for a reduction in minimum manning. Minimum manning ensures there are enough people to actually fight a fire. NK is already way below national standards. There is no fat to cut. These guys know if they don't stay, they lose their jobs and the citizens go unprotected. They don't want the OT. They want to go home and they still aren't calling for a reduction in minnimum manning. It's not about OT. It's about having enough people on duty to be able to actually get the job done and NK is as bare bones as it gets, my friend.
Concerned Resident August 03, 2012 at 11:57 AM
It is comments such as this that give me pause to wonder to who you really are and your true intentions. I'm truly suspect AND as I learned long ,the truth does and will eventually come out. It will not surprise me to see that you will chime in on any and all similar "NK" blogs. I suggest you look back at other similar blog comments to find where your comments are becoming weak. For now I do not wish to engage or be manipulated in your PR or propaganda efforts. As they say, you can fool some of the residents some of the time but you can't fool all the residents all the time. By the way, in referencing your comment of “there’s no fat to cut” - the same that is continually evaluated in the private sector and real world. You apparently just don't get it.
Rich August 03, 2012 at 06:08 PM
As I said in the other thread, you appear in all the same threads as me. So if im suspect as being employed to comment here, so are you. Also, engaging you in a 200 comment thread would be jus about the most inefficient way for a PR to operate. Haha!! Why are you skirting my questions now? How would you feel to be the firefighter I described who received the order to stay at work and has to tell his family? This isn't dramatics, this is happening daily to these guys. Why do you continue to defend this town councils action when you yourself have conceded that the long shifts are unacceptable?
Rich August 03, 2012 at 06:09 PM
As for the fat to cut comment: there are already 30 less firefighters staffing trucks that were inherently undermanned in the first place.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »