Moody’s: Providence retiree deal is ‘achievement,’ ‘precedent’

By Ted Nesi,

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras got an early Christmas present on Thursday from Moody’s Investors Service.

In a research note, Moody’s analyst Tom Compton praised the tentative settlement on pensions and retiree health benefits that Taveras has negotiated with the city’s unions and retired workers. The police and fire unions, as well as the two department’s retirees, have all voted to approve the deal.

“The changes offer significant relief to the highly leveraged and fiscally stressed city,” Compton wrote. It will reduce the fixed costs – pensions, retiree health benefits and debt service – that made up about 22% of Providence’s operating-fund spending in 2011-12.

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