Recent Developments

18 June, 2017

An Essex Superior Court judge has ordered the Lynn Mayor Kennedy to ensure that the City meets its contractual and statutory obligations for safe staffing of the City's Fire Departments. This injunction represents a significant victory in the long fight of Lynn Local 739, lAFF against Mayor Kennedy's cuts to staffing in the last few months. Mayor Flanagan has for several months been "budgeting by brownouts," as explained below, at great risk to citizens and fire fighters.

1 June, 2017

A neutral arbitrator found that a worker did not abuse patients with disabilities and therefore the employer's termination of the worker violated the collective bargaining agreement. Thanks to union representation by SEIU Local 509, the worker is entitled to reinstatement and to back pay for lost wages and benefits for the past year.

7 June, 2017

Union-side firm Pyle Rome Ehrenberg, PC, is excited to announce the hiring of recent Northeastern Law graduate Mark Macchi. Macchi has distinguished himself as a passionate advocate for working men and women, with a particular emphasis on public safety.

1 May, 2017

Just months after the National Labor Relations Board affirmed that graduate student employees have the federal right to form a union, Brandeis University graduate students voted Union Yes by an overwhelming margin, 88 to 34. Attorney Patrick Bryant has been advising SEIU and its locals on higher education instructor organizing in Massachusetts and Vermont. Thanks to a dedicated team of organizers, SEIU and its affiliates have won elections in every private sector college instructor organizing drive in Massachusetts and Vermont since 2012.

1 May, 2017

The collective bargaining agreement between Town of Chelmsford and Chelmsford Firefighters Union Local 1839, IAFF, entitles fire fighters to bid on shifts and apparatus by seniority. The agreement also allows the Chief to veto any selection for "just and sufficient cause."

Here, an independent arbitrator was persuaded by Attorney Leah Barrault that unfounded allegations of misconduct were not a sufficient basis for the Chief to veto Fire Fighter A's shift bid.

3 April, 2017

On April 3, 2017, U.S. District Judge George O'Toole dismissed as untimely a duty of fair representation charge that had been filed by a member against USW, Local 8751. The case, which was argued by Pyle Rome attorneys Al Gordon O'Connell and Jill Ryan on behalf of the Union, reiterates the requirement that a member must file such claims within six months of when he knew or should have known of the claim or see his claim dismissed.

28 February, 2017

Attorney James Hykel has aided the Boston Police Superior Officer Federation's effort to force the Boston Police Department to comply with Civil Service law. Hykel and the Federation produced evidence that the BPD was failing to fill vacancies under the specific process outlined in Chapter 31. A Massachusetts Superior Court in Suffolk County has agreed that the Civil Service Commission erred when simply dismissed the Federation's complaint against the BPD without taking evidence.

5 February, 2017

A career-ending accusation against an individual working in health and human services involves sleeping on the job. Some employers consistently terminate such employees who sleep while working. A union, such as 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East-Massachusetts helps an employee fight back when facing false or unsubstantiated allegations that they are sleeping.

31 January, 2017

A major benefit of union representation is that employees can have access to independent review of an employer's claims for discipline. An arbitrator usually determines whether the employee engaged in the misconduct alleged by the employer and, if so, whether the discipline is appropriate under the circumstances. Here, Massachusetts state agency, the Department of Children and Families, fired the Grievant, an experienced social worker, after it determined she was speeding more than 100 miles per hour while transporting a teenager under state supervision.

25 January, 2017

Massachusetts public employers having been trying a new tactic when public safety unions are unwilling to accept take-it-or-leave-it contract proposals: suing when unions ask for a mediator. Thankfully, Attorney Leah Barrault, has defeated two of these charges. Last December, the Department of Labor Relations dismissed a charge against Seekonk Fire Fighters based on the Union's request for Joint Labor Management Committee mediation of the bargaining dispute.