In order to better serve Pyle Rome's large and growing base of union clients throughout New England and to provide more complete representation to unions and their employee members, Pyle Rome Attorney Jill Ryan recently obtained her license to practice law in Connecticut. Attorney Ryan will continue to focus her practice exclusively on the rights of workers in Massachusetts, Connecticut and across New England. Attorney Ryan was sworn in to practice at the Connecticut Supreme Court on April 30, 2018.
On March 29, 2018, the Hampden County Retirement Board rejected the Town of Longmeadow's effort to involuntarily retire a firefighter in a cowardly attempt to avoid the collective bargaining agreement’s just cause requirement for discharge. Pyle Rome partner Jim Hykel represented the employee.
Attorney Patrick Bryant persuaded a neutral arbitrator to cut eight-shift discipline in half for one Seekonk fire fighter and to reduce it to a reprimand for another fire fighter.
The Massachusetts Court of Appeals has become the second court to affirm an arbitration award supporting SEIU Local 509's arbitration victory in favor of a probationary teacher. Attorney Patrick Bryant represented Local 509 and its bargaining unit at the Collaborative for Educational Services throughout this process.
A hearing officer with the Commonwealth's Department of Labor Relations has ruled that managers at the State’s MassHealth Office in Taunton violated the law by threatening employees who criticized supervisors. Attorney Jim Hykel represented SEIU Local 509 throughout the proceedings. Pyle Rome partner Kate Shea is the General Counsel of Local 509.
In the first few months of 2018, Pyle Rome attorneys have assisted UFCW, Local 1445 in overturning three separate discharge decisions at Stop & Shop. Pyle Rome attorney Al Gordon O'Connell is the General Counsel of Local 1445, and his partners Tod Cochran and Ian Russell handled the cases at arbitration.
On April 6, 2018, an arbitrator sustained the grievance of IAFF, Local 1268 and held that the Town of Randolph violated the Fire Fighters' contract when it upended a decades-old practice of paying out a full year's worth of longevity and educational incentives to retiring firefighters. Pyle Rome attorney Al Gordon O'Connell represented the Fire Union and won the case at arbitration.
An interest arbitration panel, including a neutral professional and a management representative, has ordered an increase in fire apparatus staffing for at least one Town of Chelmsford fire station, preferably headquarters. Matt Reddy, a District Vice President of the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts, served as the labor representative on the panel. Attorneys Leah Barrault and Mark Macchi represented the Chelmsford Fire Fighters, IAFF Local 1839.
On February 23, 2018, the Vermont Supreme Court held that collective bargaining negotiations are not "meetings" within the meaning of the Vermont Open Meetings Law and that a public body may not force a union to negotiate in public. The case represents a major victory for public sector unions in Vermont and a set-back for the Vermont School Boards Association, which has been attempting to undermine teachers' unions by forcing them to negotiate in public.
On January 12, 2018, a neutral labor arbitrator reinstated a Stop & Shop employee represented by UFCW Local 1445 who had been terminated for selling cigarettes to a minor as part of an FDA sting operation. Pyle Rome attorney Tod Cochran represented the Union at arbitration.