Updated February 27 at 10:27am

State, unions reach tentative deal

Rhode Island officials have reached an agreement with most of the state’s public employee unions on a new four-year contract, Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee announced Thursday. More

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State, unions reach tentative deal

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PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island officials have reached an agreement with most of the state’s public employee unions on a new four-year contract, Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee announced Thursday.

The tentative deal with Council 94 and the Coalition of Unions is retroactive to July 2013 and would result in a cumulative 6 percent salary increase between that time and Oct. 4, 2015. Council 94 and the Coalition of Unions represent all union state employees except correctional officers and state police.

In exchange for the raises, the unions agreed for the first time to health insurance deductibles – $250 for individuals and $500 for families – and medical copays. They also agreed to unspecified mid-term personnel reforms.

The deal now moves to the individual unions for ratification.

“It is anticipated that these changes will result in substantial medical cost-containment savings over time for the state, which is self-insured,” a news release announcing the agreement said. “In addition, the unions have agreed to allow the state to institute optional innovative health plans.”

The deal includes a retroactive 2 percent raise effective immediately, another 2 percent increase starting Oct. 5 and final 2 percent increase starting Oct. 4, 2015.

State employees last received raises in July 2011.

The news release did not include an estimate of the cost of the new deal to the state budget.

Lincoln D. Chafee, Council 94, Coalition of Unions, state employee union contract,

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