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PROVIDENCE

Union leader happy with Chafee meeting

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A top union leader called recent talks with Governor Lincoln Chafee a promising start to negotiating an end to a high-stakes lawsuit challenging sweeping changes to the state pension system. Bob Walsh, executive director of the National Education Association Rhode Island, and AFL-CIO president George Nee met with Chafee for an hour Tuesday. Walsh said specifics were not discussed, but Chafee expressed interest in striking a compromise to end the unions’ legal challenge. Last year Chafee signed legislation that raised retirement ages, suspended pension increases, and changed benefit plans for thousands of active and retired teachers and government workers.