Recent Developments

14 March, 2019

A landmark collective bargaining agreement negotiated by SEIU Local 509 for contingent faculty required Northeastern University to pay severance to adjuncts displaced by new full-time faculty. Attorney Patrick Bryant persuaded a neutral arbitrator that Northeastern violated the agreement when it refused to pay these severance fees for Spring 2018 courses previously taught by an adjunct. The arbitrator rejected the University's excuse that it was not required to pay the fees because the full-time faculty member who displaced the adjunct was hired in Fall 2017 rather than Spring 2018.

30 April, 2019

A hotel worker of nearly two decades was summarily discharged after she found and returned a Apple Watch lost by a hotel guest. An independent arbitrator agreed with Attorney James Hykel and UNITE HERE Local 26 that the employer could not show the employee intended to steal the watch.

22 April, 2019

On April 22, 2019, an investigator from the Massachusetts Department of Labor Relations dismissed charges that the City of Melrose had filed against the Melrose Fire Fighters, Local 1617 alleging that the Union engaged in bad faith bargaining over changes to promotional criteria. Attorney Al Gordon O'Connell represented the Union at the investigation.

26 March, 2019

A neutral arbitrator has agreed with the Wakefield Firefighters Association, Local 1478, IAFF, and their attorney Leah Barrault, that the Town of Wakefield improperly cut benefits for a firefighter because he served his country as an Army reservist deployed to Iraq.

5 March, 2019

For workers who assist patients with disabilities, there are few allegations more stigmatizing than patient abuse, especially when those allegations are demonstrably false. That is why it is important for SEIU Local 509 to negotiate contract language that ensures workers have a right to independent and fair investigations into such allegations and for a professional arbitrator to scrutinize disciplinary decisions that employers make about such allegations.

6 March, 2019

On March 7, 2019, U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock agreed with Attorney Jillian Ryan's motion that 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East (Union) acted fairly toward a member and that an untimely lawsuit by a former member must be dismissed.

14 February, 2019

The Department of Labor Relations issued a three-count complaint against the City of Cambridge, given credible allegations that the City canceled a safety committee because of Cambridge Fire Fighters, Local 30, IAFF aggressive enforcement of the collective bargaining agreement. Attorney Patrick Bryant presented evidence to the DLR that led to the issuance of the complaint.

30 January, 2019

It is fairly standard for collective bargaining agreements to provide additional compensation when an employee is filling in, either temporarily or indefinitely, for a supervisor. The additional responsibilities merit additional compensation. Attorney Jillian Ryan helped 1199 United Healthcare Workers East persuaded a neutral arbitrator that a tech employee in the bargaining unit was entitled to additional pay under the collective bargaining agreement when she filled in for the supervisor.

11 February, 2019

It is a basic principle of labor law that a Union does not waive its right to enforce clear contract language simply because it chose to ignore past violations. Here, Attorney James Hykel successfully argued that the collective bargaining agreement clearly required the Plymouth Town Manager personally to meet with the Local 1768 about grievances, and that she could not outsource this contractual duty to her underlings.

The contract states that at Step 2 of the grievance procedure, "The Town

10 February, 2019

In recent contract negotiations with the Town of Stoughton, the Stoughton Police Patrolmen's Association, MCOP Local 446 sought to decrease the burdens on shift officers when prisoners are taken into custody. Prisoner watch causes pressure on shifts already stretched too thin.