Agency Agrees With Patrick Bryant to Issue Complaint Alleging Town of Mendon Violated Rights of Fire Union President

December 12, 2016

An investigator with the Department of Labor Relations, following an evidentiary hearing, issued a three-charge complaint against the Town of Mendon alleging misbehavior by the Board of Selectmen toward the President of Mendon Permanent Firefighters Association, Local 4936 IAFF. Attorney Patrick Bryant represented Local 4936 at the DLR.

President Michael Zarella, the Town's Assistant Fire Chief, was alarmed at a substantial raise provided to the Town Administrator, especially where the Town was refusing to provide adequate wage hikes to his members. Zarella questioned why she was given such a raise, and the Town suspected him of asking about the nature of the Town Administrator's relationship with the Board Chair. The investigator agreed that Such actions are concerted, protected activity under state law. The Board reacted by ordering President Zarella to appear at a hearing and to receive a torrent of ridicule about his union activity. Further, the Board issued a letter castigating him for his union activity, and then refused to provide information requested by the Union.

The issuance of a complaint means that, unless the Town admits to the allegations, Local 4936 proceed to a hearing to vindicate President Zarella's rights.

Related Attorney: 
Leah M. Barrault