Posts tagged "Firefighters"

City of Springfield v. Local Union No. 648, International Association of Firefighters, AFL-CIO (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-107-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   13-P-1691                                       Appeals Court   CITY OF SPRINGFIELD  vs.  LOCAL UNION NO. 648, INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FIREFIGHTERS, AFL-CIO. No. 13-P-1691. Hampden.     September 11, 2014. – August 13, 2015.   Present:  Trainor, Rubin, & Sullivan, JJ.   Fire Fighter, Appointment.  Arbitration, Fire fighters, Authority of arbitrator, Damages.  Labor, Fire fighters, Arbitration, Civil service, Damages.  Civil Service, Fire fighters, Appointment.  Contract, Collective bargaining contract.  Damages, Back pay.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on December 14, 2011.   The case was heard by John S. Ferrara, J., on motions for judgment on the pleadings; a motion for reconsideration was heard by him; and entry of a final judgment was ordered by him.     Albert R. Mason for the plaintiff. Joseph G. Donnellan for the defendant.      RUBIN, J.  The city of Springfield (city) appeals from a judgment of the Superior Court confirming a labor arbitration award issued in favor of a public employee union representing firefighters, Local 648, International Association of Firefighters, AFL-CIO (union).  We affirm. Background.  Because the arbitration award incorporated by reference certain legal conclusions of the Civil Service Commission (commission), we first summarize the commission proceedings, followed by the arbitration proceedings.  Under the civil service law, G. L. c. 31, in order to fill a vacant position, the city may appoint either a “permanent” replacement, or, if the vacancy or the position is temporary, a “temporary” replacement.  See G. L. c. 31, §§ 6-8.  In either event, the appointment must be made through the detailed procedural steps set out in the civil service law. As the commission ultimately found, for an extended period of time the city’s appointments to vacant positions in the fire department did not comply with the above requirements.  Rather, in 2009 and 2010, the city filled certain vacancies in its fire department not by promoting firefighters, but by making extended appointments of firefighters to higher-ranking civil service positions on an “acting” basis.  These firefighters were paid additional out-of-grade compensation pursuant to the terms of art. 31 of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the union and the city.  Even with this additional out-of-grade amount, their compensation and other benefits fell short of that set forth in the CBA for the positions in which they were serving.  The city’s justification for this discrepancy was that the firefighters were serving only on an “acting” basis. […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 13, 2015 at 8:37 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Town of Athol v. Professional Firefighters of Athol, Local 1751, I.A.F.F. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-174-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us SJC-11640   TOWN OF ATHOL  vs.  PROFESSIONAL FIREFIGHTERS OF ATHOL, LOCAL 1751, I.A.F.F. October 23, 2014 Fire Fighter, Municipality’s liability.  Labor, Fire fighters, Health benefit plan, Arbitration, Collective bargaining.  Municipal Corporations, Fire department, Insurance, Collective bargaining.  Public Employment, Collective bargaining.  Contract, Collective bargaining contract.      This appeal arises from an action in the Superior Court challenging an arbitrator’s determination that the town of Athol (town) violated its collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the Professional Firefighters of Athol, Local 1751, I.A.F.F. (union) by unilaterally increasing copayment amounts that union members pay for medical services under their health insurance plans.  The judge confirmed the portion of the arbitration award compelling the parties to bargain collectively over changes to copayment rates, but vacated two remedial aspects of the award.  The Appeals Court affirmed.[1]  We granted the union’s application for further appellate review to address the question whether the Superior Court judge erred in vacating any portion of the award.  We reverse in part and remand for the entry of a judgment confirming the award in its entirety.   Background.  After the town unilaterally increased copayment amounts for medical services, the union filed a grievance under the parties’ CBA.  It alleged that health insurance benefits are mandatory subjects of collective bargaining, and that any changes must be brought to successor contract bargaining.  An arbitrator concluded that such changes are a mandatory subject of collective bargaining and that the town violated the CBA by making the changes unilaterally.  As a remedy, the arbitration award required the town, among other things, to restore the cost and structure of copayments to the status quo ante and to make union members whole for economic losses resulting from the change in copayment rates.  The town filed a complaint in the Superior Court seeking to vacate the award and for other relief.   Discussion.  Except in the narrow circumstances described in G. L. c. 150C, § 11, a judge may not vacate an arbitrator’s award.  Bureau of Special Investigations v. Coalition of Pub. Safety, 430 […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 23, 2014 at 5:38 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , , , , ,