Attorney Jillian Bertrand and SENA 9158 Restore Overtime Opportunities to City of Boston Middle Managers

June 08, 2023

On June 8, 2023, a neutral arbitrator handed a solid victory to SENA, Local 9158 in a dispute with the City of Boston about third-party overtime opportunities. Pyle Rome attorney Jillian M. Bertrand represented the Union in the successful arbitration.

At issue was the manner in which overtime opportunities were handed out for plumbing, gas and electrical inspections for constituents who requested such inspections to occur after hours. Much like private police details, in which a private entity asks for or requires police presence, for these after-hours inspections, the third party reimburses the City for the work. The Union proved that for at least 20 years, the SENA-represented supervisors were included in the rotation with the front-line inspectors for these after-hours overtime opportunities. However, when the City took over centralized processing of these third-party overtime opportunities, it took the supervisors out of the rotation and allowed them to be assigned overtime work only if all of the other employees had refused the opportunity.

SENA tried to engage in dialog with the City over the change, but the City refused to fix the problem that it created. The Union thus filed a grievance under the past practice article of the collective bargaining agreement, and the arbitrator ruled that the City plainly violated the contract when it took this benefit away from SENA represented workers. He ordered the City to put the SENA-represented workers back in the rotation and to make them whole for the dozens of overtime opportunities they lost since the change went into effect.

The case represents yet another win for SENA in what is now a more-than-three year unbroken string of arbitration victories against the City of Boston.