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One of the most powerful union leaders in the country is in Providence this weekend

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, will be in Providence Saturday for a community forum hosted by the local union. She's shown speaking to Chicago teachers on a picket line last October.
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, will be in Providence Saturday for a community forum hosted by the local union. She's shown speaking to Chicago teachers on a picket line last October.Colin Boyle/Associated Press

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LEADING OFF

Happy Friday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and here’s a fun fact: Providence College hasn’t lost a basketball game on Feb. 29 since 1988. Good luck with that, Villanova. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

We don’t have too many clues about what’s happening behind the scenes between the state and the Providence Teachers Union as the two sides begin to negotiate a new contract, but the union will show a little strength this weekend when American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten comes to town.

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Weingarten is one of the most influential union leaders in the country, and she’s been keeping a close eye on the state’s takeover of Providence schools. She’ll be in Providence Saturday for a community forum hosted by the local union.

The event is open to the public and will be held at the Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex.

Weingarten is scheduled to participate in a discussion at 10 a.m. called “bargaining with the community for the common good.”

Weingarten is no stranger to Providence. In 2018, she visited several schools – check out her bouncy house skills – and was critical of Mayor Jorge Elorza’s handling of union contract negotiations. In 2011, she held a rally on the front steps of City Hall after then-Mayor Angel Taveras’s administration issued pink slips to every teacher.

It’s unclear whether Weingarten is concerned about the Providence takeover, but we know the AFT has paid for polling on the issue. We also know that Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green has kept Weingarten in the loop on some of the key issues in the state.

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Infante-Green has made it clear that the next big phase in the takeover is tackling the union contract.

NEED TO KNOW

Rhode Map wants to hear from you. If you've got a scoop or a link to an interesting news story in Rhode Island, e-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

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  • Question of the Week: What’s the best movie that is based in Rhode Island? E-mail me at dan.mcgowan@globe.com and I’ll post the winner on Monday.

WHAT'S ON TAP TODAY

Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what's happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

Thanks for reading. Send comments and suggestions to dan.mcgowan@globe.com, or follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan. See you on Monday.

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Dan McGowan can be reached at dan.mcgowan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @danmcgowan.