Recent Developments

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.

6 February, 2019

A neutral arbitrator, after hearing arguments and evidence presented by the Chelsea Fire Chief, concluded that his four-day suspension of a veteran firefighter violated the collective bargaining agreement’s promise to discipline only for just cause. Attorney Leah Barrault represented Chelsea Firefighters, Local 937, in this arbitration. This Award flatly rejects the idea that sick leave use is excessive or abusive merely because the firefighters use more than their co-workers.

4 February, 2019

Bourne Fire Chief Norman Sylvester violated the collective bargaining agreement when he refused to send a full-time fire fighter to the full-time fire academy attended by all current and past Bourne firefighters. A respected, neutral arbitrator agreed with Local 1717 Attorney Patrick Bryant that Chief Sylvester could not rely upon a part-time fire academy to fulfill contractual obligations to train full-time firefighters.

15 January, 2019

A neutral arbitrator agreed with Attorney Leah Barrault that a collective bargaining agreement's effective ban on two-person crews was enforceable against the City of New Bedford. The New Bedford Firefighters, Local 841IAFF negotiated language in their contract that requires, per national standards, apparatus to be staffed by four-person crews and, under very limited circumstances, three-person crews. As such, two person crews were not allowed.

29 October, 2018

The Department of Transitional Assistance suspended an employee represented by SEIU Local 509 for 10 days after finding that she was responsible for a loud altercation in a state office and that she threatened coworkers anonymously. When finally provided a hearing before a neutral decisionmaker, Attorney Jillian Ryan showed that these claims were unfounded.

20 September, 2018

A hearing officer of the Massachusetts Department of Labor Relations has dismissed a complaint filed by the Town of Seekonk against IAFF Local 1931after Local 1931 asked a mediator to help with contract negotiations. Attorneys Leah Barrault and Patrick Bryant successfully represented Local 1931 during contract negotiations, mediation, interest arbitration, and this frivolous unfair labor practice. More than two years after negotiations began, Seekonk fire fighters refused to buckle to pressure.