Union officials in Rhode Island yesterday won a temporary stay in the state Supreme Court to prevent the first of 12 furlough days that was scheduled to begin today.

The unions appealed an earlier decision in Superior Court yesterday morning that would have allowed the shutdown to go forward while the parties went through arbitration. Gov. Donald Carcieri ordered the furloughs last month to save $21.6 million as part of a plan to cut $67.8 million in the current fiscal year. Carcieri has said he hoped to negotiate pay reductions that would eliminate the need for shutdown days.

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