In a case tried by NP attorney Gary Nolan, the Division of Labor recently ruled that the City of Everett violated Massachusetts labor law when it assigned the duties of a retired Captain to a Lieutenant. Gary represented the NEPBA and its local, the Everett Superior Officers.
The Board made some significant findings, including:
-that a 2013 City of Boston case decided by the Supreme Judicial Court, relied on by the City, was applicable only to the City of Boston because of a special law appointing its Commissioner. This is interesting since that is a case upon which many Cities and Towns have been relying to justify all types of assignments made without bargaining;
-the DLR Hearing Officer ruled that the City broke the law when it assigned the retired Captain's duties to a Lieutenant and increased his workload, all without paying the salary commensurate with the new duties (i.e. the CBA negotiated Captain's salary); and
-the DLR ordered that the City return to the status quo, meaning the Lieutenant is to be pulled out of those duties; and ruled that the City must bargain upon demand with the union before making further changes.
This case is important as it holds the line against municipalities avoiding making promotions, thereby removing rungs from an officer's career ladder, outside of the collective bargaining process. It also protects against public employers placing additional responsibilities, liabilities, and overall work duties on officers without paying them the salaries negotiated in good faith by the union. NP was proud to assist the NEPBA in this important fight.
The City has appealed this decision and the Union remains in the fight. We will keep you posted on the result.