Bay State's Newest Fire Local Battles Retaliation

August 9, 2017

Congratulations to the newest union of Massachusetts fire fighters: Oak Bluffs Professional Firefighters & Paramedics, IAFF Local 5137. Today, the Department of Labor Relations certified the local as the exclusive bargaining representative of full-time and part-time fire fighters (except for the Chief). Attorney James Hykel worked with the fire fighters and Robert McCarthy, the IAFF district field service representative and former president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts, to make the Union status official. The certification means that the Town of Oak Bluffs now has a legal duty to bargain in good faith with Local 5137 regarding terms and conditions of employment for fire fighters.

While congratulations are in order, any celebration must be short lived. Unfortunately, the Town of Oak Bluffs has not demonstrated a willingness to respect the legal rights of fire fighters. The Town filed untimely and frivolous objections. The Union has filed an unfair labor practice (attached) that alleges multiple actions, primarily by the Fire Chief, to intimidate and retaliate against fire fighters. An investigatory hearing by the state labor agency about the ULP should be held within the next month. You can read more about the battle here.

The Union vows not to be bullied by the Town and will fight for the rights of its members and for a fair contract.

Related Attorney: 
James Hykel
Related Attorney: 
Patrick N. Bryant