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AFSCME, AFL-CIO Locals v. Chafee

Superior Court of Rhode Island

July 22, 2014

RHODE ISLAND COUNCIL 94, AFSCME, AFL-CIO LOCALS: BOYS & GIRLS TRAINING SCHOOL, LOCAL 314, AFSCME, COUNCIL 94, AFL-CIO; UNIVERSITY OF RI, LOCAL 528, AFSCME, COUNCIL 94, AFL-CIO; VETERANS HOME, LOCAL 904, AFSCME, COUNCIL 94, AFL-CIO; NBC/BLACKSTONE VALLEY FACILITY, LOCAL 1010, AFSCME, COUNCIL 94, AFL-CIO; DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, LOCAL 1245, AFSCME, COUNCIL 94, AFL-CIO; RI CLASS, LOCAL 1293, AFSCME, COUNCIL 94, AFL-CIO; MEDICAL CENTER, LOCAL 1350, AFSCME, COUNCIL 94, AFL-CIO; RI FAMILY COURT, LOCAL 2203, AFSCME, COUNCIL 94, AFL-CIO; MED. CTR. PHSYICAL PLANT & MGMT. SERVICES, LOCAL 2392, AFSCME, COUNCIL 94, AFL-CIO; DEPUTY SHERIFFS, LOCAL 2409, AFSCME, COUNCIL 94, AFL-CIO; DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION, LOCAL 2448, AFSCME, COUNCIL 94, AFL-CIO; DEPARTMENT OF LABOR & TRAINING, LOCAL 2869, AFSCME, COUNCIL 94, AFL-CIO; DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, LOCAL 2870, AFSCME, COUNCIL 94, AFL-CIO; DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, LOCAL 2872, AFSCME, COUNCIL 94, AFL-CIO; RHODE ISLAND AIRPORT CORPORATION, LOCAL 2873, AFSCME, COUNCIL 94, AFL-CIO; REGISTRY OF MOTOR VEHICLES, LOCAL 2874, AFSCME, COUNCIL 94, AFL-CIO; DEPT. OF CHILDREN, YOUTH & FAMILIES, LOCAL 2876, AFSCME, COUNCIL 94, AFL-CIO; URI PROFESSIONAL/TECHNICAL ADMINISTRATIVE, LOCAL 2877, AFSCME, COUNCIL 94, AFL-CIO; RHODE ISLAND COLLEGE SECURITY & FACILITIES, LOCAL 2878, AFSCME, COUNCIL 94, AFL-CIO; RHODE ISLAND COLLEGE CLERICAL, LOCAL 2879, AFSCME, COUNCIL 94, AFL-CIO; DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, LOCAL 2881, AFSCME, COUNCIL 94, AFL-CIO; DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, LOCAL 2882, AFSCME, COUNCIL 94, AFL-CIO; MHRH (SUPERVISORY), LOCAL 2883, AFSCME, COUNCIL 94, AFL-CIO; AMALGAMATED, LOCAL 2884, AFSCME, COUNCIL 94, AFL-CIO; EXECUTIVE/MILITARY STAFF, LOCAL 2886, AFSCME, COUNCIL 94, AFL-CIO; NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION RHODE ISLAND LOCALS: NEA BARRINGTON, LOCAL 801, NEARI; BRISTOL/WARREN EA, LOCAL 802, NEARI; BURRILLVILLE EA, LOCAL 803, NEARI; NEA CHARIHO, LOCAL 898, NEARI; CUMBERLAND TEACHERS, LOCAL 808, NEARI; DAVIES FACULTY, LOCAL 875, NEARI; EAST GREENWICH ED. ASSOC., LOCAL 809, NEARI; EAST PROVIDENCE ED. ASSOC., LOCAL 810, NEARI; EXETER/ WEST GREENWICH TCH. ASSOC., LOCAL 897, NEARI; FOSTER TEACHERS ASSOC., LOCAL 812, NEARI; GLOCESTER TEACHER ASSOC., LOCAL 813, NEARI; JAMESTOWN TEACHERS ASSOC., LOCAL 815, NEARI; LITTLE COMPTON TEACHERS ASSOC., LOCAL 818, NEARI; NEA MIDDLETOWN, LOCAL 819, NEARI; NEA NARRAGANSETT, LOCAL 820, NEARI; TEACHERS ASSN. OF NEWPORT, LOCAL 821, NEARI, NEW SHOREHAM TEACHER ASSOC., LOCAL 822, NEARI; NEA NORTH KINGSTOWN, LOCAL 823, NEARI; NORTH SMITHFIELD TEACHER ASSOC., LOCAL 825, NEARI; NEA PONAGANSETT, LOCAL 899, NEARI; NEA PORTSMOUTH, LOCAL 827, NEARI; RI SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF TEACHER ASSOC., LOCAL 841, NEARI; SCITUATE TEACHERS ASSOC., LOCAL 830, NEARI; NEA SMITHFIELD, LOCAL 831, NEARI; NEA SOUTH KINGSTOWN, LOCAL 832, NEARI; NEA TIVERTON, LOCAL 833, NEARI, WESTERLY TEACHERS ASSOC., LOCAL 836, NEARI; CCRI/NEARI ESPA, LOCAL 852, NEARI; CCRI FACULTY ASSN., LOCAL 872, NEARI; CCRI/PSA, LOCAL 893, NEARI; RI DEPT OF HEALTH PSA, LOCAL 859, NEARI; URI/ACT, LOCAL 879, NEARI; URI PHYSICIANS, LOCAL 877, NEARI; URI/ PSA, LOCAL 888, NEARI; RI SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF TEACHER ASST., LOCAL 884, NEARI; DAVIES TEACHER ASST., LOCAL 867, NEARI; RHODE ISLAND FEDERATION OF TEACHERS AND HEALTH PROFESSIONALS LOCALS: WARWICK TEACHERS UNION, LOCAL 915, RIFTHP; NORTH PROVIDENCE FEDERATION OF TEACHERS, LOCAL 920, RIFTHP; PAWTUCKET TEACHERS ALLIANCE, LOCAL 930, RIFTHP; WOONSOCKET TEACHERS GUILD, LOCAL 951, RIFTHP; PROVIDENCE TEACHERS UNION, LOCAL 958, RIFTHP; WEST WARWICK TEACHERS ALLIANCE, LOCAL 1017, RIFTHP; COVENTRY TEACHERS ALLIANCE, LOCAL 1075, RIFTHP; LINCOLN TEACHERS ASSOCIATION, LOCAL 1461, RIFTHP; CENTRAL FALLS TEACHERS UNION, LOCAL 1567, RIFTHP; JOHNSTON FEDERATION OF TEACHERS, LOCAL 1702, RIFTHP; CRANSTON TEACHERS ALLIANCE, LOCAL 1704, RIFTHP; NORTHERN RHODE ISLAND COLLABORATIVE EDUCATIONAL UNION, LOCAL 4940, RIFTHP; HOWARD UNION OF TEACHERS, LOCAL 1171, RIFTHP; RI COURT REPORTERS ALLIANCE, LOCAL 4829, RIFTHP; RI DEPT OF EDUCATION, LOCAL 2012, RIFTHP; RHODE ISLAND BROTHERHOOD OF CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS; INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF PROFESSIONAL AND TECHNICAL ENGINEERS LOCAL 400; NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES/ INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF POLICE OFFICERS LOCAL 79; RHODE ISLAND EMPLOYMENT SECURITY ALLIANCE, LOCAL 401; and RHODE ISLAND ALLIANCE OF SOCIAL SERVICE EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 580
v.
LINCOLN CHAFEE, IN HIS CAPACITY AS GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF RHODE ISLAND; GINA RAIMONDO, IN HER CAPACITY AS GENERAL TREASURER OF THE STATE OF RHODE ISLAND; AND THE EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF THE STATE OF RHODE ISLAND, BY AND THROUGH THE RHODE ISLAND RETIREMENT BOARD, BY AND THROUGH GINA RAIMONDO, IN HER CAPCITY AS CHAIRMAN OF THE RETIREMENT BOARD; AND FRANK J. KARPINSKI, IN HIS CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF THE RETIREMENT BOARD

Providence County Superior Court

Rhode Island Public Employees' Retiree Coalition, et al Carly Beauvais Iafrate, Esq. Jay E. Sushelsky, Esq.

Bristol/Warren Regional School Employees, Local 581, et al Thomas R. Landry, Esq.

R.I. Council 94, AFSCME, AFL-CIO Locals: Boys & Girls Training School Local 314, AFSCME, Council 94, AFL-CIO, Locals, et al Lynette Labinger, Esq.

Cranston Police Officers, IBPO, Local 301, et al. Gary T. Gentile, Esq. Paul V. Sullivan, Esq.

Plaintiff Firefighters, et al. Joseph F. Penza, Jr., Esq. Douglas L. Steele, Esq. Megan K. Mechak, Esq.

Cranston Fire Fighters, Local 1363, AFL-CIO Mark B. Gursky, Esq.

Joseph Clifford, et al. Sean T. O'Leary, Esq.

Defendants

Lincoln D. Chafee and Gina Raimondo James Lee, Esq. Rebecca T. Partington, Esq.

Employees' Retirement System of Rhode Island John A. Tarantino, Esq. Patricia K. Rocha, Esq. Nicole J. Benjamin, Esq. Julia C. Hamilton, Esq. David Boies, Esq.

Rhode Island Association of School Committees Samuel D. Zurier, Esq.

DECISION

TAFT-CARTER, J.

Before this Court is Defendants' Motion to Join Municipal Entities as Indispensable Parties and/or Parties Whose Rights May be Affected by the Declarations Sought. Plaintiffs consist of a number of local affiliates of Rhode Island Council 94, AFSCME, AFL-CIO, representing Rhode Island state employees, local affiliates of the National Education Association Rhode Island, representing Rhode Island public school teachers and/or employees, local affiliates of Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals, the Rhode Island Brotherhood of Correctional Officers, and a number of other local associations representing state and municipal employees (collectively, Plaintiffs). Plaintiffs filed the underlying action in 2012 against the Governor and General Treasurer of the State of Rhode Island, the Employees' Retirement System of Rhode Island (ERSRI), by and through the Retirement Board, and the Chairman and Secretary of the Retirement Board (collectively, Defendants), challenging the constitutionality of the Rhode Island Retirement Security Act (RIRSA) of 2011. Jurisdiction is pursuant to Super. R. Civ. P. 19 (Rule 19) and G.L. 1956 § 9-30-11.

I Facts and Travel

ERSRI, established in 1936, is a retirement system for state employees, school teachers, and employees of cities and towns that choose to participate. See G.L. 1956 §§ 36-8-1, et seq. The purpose of the retirement system is to provide retirement allowances to employees of the State of Rhode Island. ERSRI is administered by the Retirement Board (Board), which oversees the Employees' Retirement System (ERS) and the Municipal Employees' Retirement System (MERS). Sec. 36-10-1; G.L. 1956 §§ 45-21-1 et seq. ERS, which applies to state employees and public school teachers, is a mandatory, contributory defined benefit plan under which participants contribute a statutorily set percentage of their annual salary in exchange for a fixed retirement allowance. Employees participating in ERS become "vested" upon making ten years of payments into ERSRI. See § 36-10-9 (state employees); G.L. 1956 § 16-16-12 (public school teachers). The retirement allowance becomes payable to participants in equal monthly installments after retirement. In addition to ...


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