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New Haven aldermen approve police union contract with city- The New Haven Register – Serving New Haven, Connecticut

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By Rich Scintorscinto@nhregister.comRscinto_nhr on Twitter Click to enlarge NEW HAVEN — The Board of Aldermen unanimously voted this week night to approve the police union contract with the city.The approval came with one amendment proposed by Alderwoman Andrea Jackson-Brooks, D-4 … Continue reading

Middlebury police officer settles grievance against town Republican American

Middlebury police officer settles grievance against town

BY MATTHEW O’ROURKE REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

MIDDLEBURY — A police officer who filed a grievance against the town claiming he was not paid for working a private duty shift on Independence Day has settled his claim.

Alton L. Cronin, a member of the Middlebury Police Union, filed the claim after he worked the shift at Quassy Amusement Park and later at Sandy Hook Beach. He claimed he was owed approximately $439.20 for a four-hour shift, which the town had not paid.

In a written statement, Cronin said town officials decided to pay him the money on Feb. 5 before a hearing with a state labor relations board scheduled for later in the month.

via Middlebury police officer settles grievance against town Republican American.

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New Haven Files Complaint Against Firefighters; Wants Silence On Police Contract

New Haven Files Complaint Against Firefighters; Wants Silence On Police Contract On Feb 21, 2013 09:54 am NEW HAVEN, CT — City officials told the fire union to stay out of their business with the police union contract. The city … Continue reading

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Wallingford unions protest vacation-day edict – MyRecordJournal.com: Wallingford News – Myrecordjournal.com

Posted: Friday, February 22, 2013 8:08 pm Andrew Ragali | 0 comments WALLINGFORD — Two unions have filed grievances protesting the mayor’s decision requiring town employees to use a vacation day to cover time not worked when Town Hall was closed earlier this month … Continue reading

Harwinton officials OK new union agreement- The Register Citizen

Harwinton – The municipal union contract, between the town and its union, was voted and approved at the Board of Selectmen’s Nov. 20 meeting and will ultimately provide future savings for the town.

The union agreed on several aspects of the new three-year contract to compromise and form new savings for the town, one of which was to eliminate two holiday days and consolidate them into President’s Day.

Through the approval of the contract, sacrifices from the union and encouragement from the town created a common ground to provide financial benefits to the town.

“The parties agreed on a successor agreement which addresses the short term and long term financial goals of the Town, while maintaining a workplace with fair wages and benefits,” said Kevin Roy-Town, an attorney at Shipman & Goodwin LLP.

According to the new contract, there will be no pay increase for the current year with a three percent increase in the second year and 3.5 percent in the third year and the Union will also be able to pick up one percent and 1.5 percent of their health care in the second and third year.

The union also agreed to carry over five days of vacation rather than 20 days and opted for pay for those five days.. All future employees hired will only be allowed to join the new benefits plan rather than the current one, saving thousands of dollars, officials said.

According to First Selectman Mike Criss, the town will save $2,800 in legal expenses and “set the stage for other towns that we all need to work together and share costs through these tough, economic times” through the new changes of the contract, he said.

“By reaching this agreement, we have saved the taxpayers thousands of dollars in future pension, health care and vacation. Payouts also have managed to stay in line with what the growing trends are,” Criss said.

“These future savings for the town have only been achieved through the hard work of the entire Board of Selectmen with bipartisan support and cooperation of the union president and bargaining unit,” said Selectman Jon Truskauskas.

via Harwinton officials OK new union agreement- The Register Citizen.

Town Council approves teachers’ union contract – New Canaan News

Town Council member Joe Paladino explains why he abstained from voting on the teachers’ union contract at the Nov. 14, 2012 Town Council meeting at the Nature Center. Photo: Tyler Woods / CT

The Town Council on Nov. 14 approved the town’s single largest expenditure — the teachers’ union contract — which will cost more than $150 million over the next three years, or roughly 45 percent of the town’s total budget each year.

The contract passed in a 9-1 vote, with Republican Roger Williams voting against the contract. Democrat Joe Paladino abstained because of the cost of the contract.

Although the contract was approved, some council members spoke against the more than 8.5 percent average pay raise for teachers in the union over the course of three years, especially in the face of a potentially poor economic climate going forward.

“(The) No. 1 consideration in arbitration is the town’s ability to pay,” said Councilman Robert Hamill. “That’s ridiculous, but that’s the law. If you take the risk of arbitration, you take the risk of litigating and coming out worse. I’m going to vote for it because I’m a pragmatist.”

A primary point of discussion was the step process of pay raises used in collectively bargained agreements. This contract includes 17 steps in the career of a teacher, each with its own level of pay, and also accounts for advanced degrees. These steps range in pay raises from 3 to 9 percent per step.

Under the previous contract, all teachers moved up one step each of the three years, so long as they were employed by the schools. Under the current contract, teachers move up only two steps over the three years.

All teachers also received a 1.1 percent increase across the board in the second and third year of the contract. The total average salary increase for teachers is 8.6 percent over three years.

The contract also changes the nature of health care coverage for teachers, a move that other town agencies have also made in recent contracts.

The new health care plan has high deductibles, the cost of which management splits with labor.

The teachers would also take on incrementally more of the cost of the premiums through the years, from 16 percent in the school year ending in 2014, to 17 percent in 2015, to 18 percent in 2016.

Members of the Board of Education’s negotiating team universally praised the contract, pointing out that salary increases were lower than in previous years and negotiations were done within the framework of the step system.

“We feel as if this is a very fair contract,” said new BOE Chairman Alison Bedula, who served on the negotiating team. “We’re restricted by the environment we’re negotiating in. … I don’t think there’s anything I can say to you to make you feel better except that we feel this is truly the best contract we can bring to you.”

Some on the Town Council were pleased by the terms.

“I believe in my heart it’s the best they could get. I think we should approve it. I think our teachers do an outstanding job,” council member Christine Hussey said.

Others had reservations about the cost. Williams saw the obligations as too onerous in what he views as a potentially poor economic climate in the future.

“I know that the negotiating team at the Board of Ed did a good job relative to minimizing increases,” he said. “(The increases in the contract are) very concerning and alarming to me, especially because we don’t know what the economy and taxes are going to bring in the next 60 days, with the fiscal cliff. We’re looking at a huge recession or tax hikes on those making over $250,000 per year, which last time I checked, was mostly everyone in the town of New Canaan,” he said.

Councilman Joe Paladino expressed his concerns about pay raises in an uncertain economy.

“I have four uncles, three aunts and one wife, and they’re all teachers,” he said. Paladino said he understood that with the step process there was little management could do about the raises, but that he could not vote in favor of the contract.

“What I can’t get my arms around is that this isn’t where the country and economy were in 2010. Everyone can agree it’s different today, and it’s going to be more challenging in 2013-16,” he said. “I wish we had some protection for our taxpayers, if (the economy) gets really bad. … As much as what we have here is reasonable, I’m concerned about where we’ll be a couple years from now.”

Teachers’ union leader Vivian Birdsall explained that the steps can be altered or changed to make salaries more competitive at different times in teachers’ careers.

“Collapsing the steps would put more of us on the top step,” she said. “Last contract, our Step 1 wasn’t competitive. People were going into other districts. Thirty-five percent of our teachers are at top step. So you can play with those steps a little bit. If you want to change a 10 percent (increase), you can put in another step.”

“You’ve created steps to smooth it,” Town Council Chairman Mark DeWaele said. “We have to adjust these steps to make certain times more competitive. It’s a little misleading. We’re not getting a 10 percent increase district-wide, but rather at competitive times.”

After the meeting, Hamill said he felt that the explanation of the step process differed when it was explained by the Board of Education and by the union.

“The two seemed to contradict each other, and what the chairman (Bedula) was trying to say was that we never opened (the steps) as an item, we granted the step process as fact. Presumably, if we’d opened that, the union pulls something else off the table. To say that it was not negotiable is not true. Upon further examination, everything is negotiable, and we chose a tactic to not dig into steps, and maybe we should have, and maybe we will in three years.”

via Town Council approves teachers’ union contract – New Canaan News.

The Day – City Council approves Public Works union contract | News from southeastern Connecticut

Norwich – The City Council Monday unanimously approved a three-year contract with the city Public Works employees’ union that calls for raises of 2 percent per year retroactive to Aug. 1, 2011 but drastically cuts future retirement benefits for employees hired after Nov. 1 of this year.

The contract runs from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2014, but the wage increase the first year starts one month later, in agreement with other union contracts that included the same concession.

The contract covers 56 employees in the United Public Services Employees’ Union, said city Human Resources Director Brigid Marks.

For retirees hired after Nov. 1, 2012, the city no longer will pay medical and dental benefits, and those retirees will only be able to cash in 50 days of accumulated sick time, rather than the 100 days current employees will be allowed to claim.

Also in the contract, the city agreed to incur increased insurance cost share of 1 percent per year retroactive to Aug. 1, 2011.

via The Day – City Council approves Public Works union contract | News from southeastern Connecticut.

Foxwoods, union contract talks near 1-year mark – seattlepi.com

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. (AP) — Nearly a year after the previous labor agreement expired, Foxwoods Resort Casino and unionized dealers are still negotiating for a new contract.

Local 2121 of the UAW says on its website that health care costs, pay raises and cleaner air in the casino are among the issues it is pushing. It says Foxwoods is demanding health insurance cost increases, a three-year wage freeze and the right to stop 401(k) match for employees for a year.

The Day of New London reports (http://bit.ly/Tbbo9c ) that neither side is talking about the negotiations for a pact to replace the one that expired on Dec. 31, 2011. It took 14 months to reach that agreement.

Revenue has been falling at Foxwoods and nearby Mohegan Sun due to the weak economy and rising casino competition.

via Foxwoods, union contract talks near 1-year mark – seattlepi.com.

Hillhouse Principal Kermit Carolina files grievance over treatment (document)- The New Haven Register – Serving New Haven, Connecticut

NEW HAVEN — In an unrelenting effort to declare his innocence and protect his school’s reputation, embattled James Hillhouse High School Principal Kermit Carolina has filed a grievance against the district over his treatment in a grade tampering scandal.

Carolina sent an official notice dated Nov. 6 addressed to Superintendent of Schools Reginald Mayo and the New Haven Board of Education, claiming he has been treated unfairly and that there have been violations of established policies or practices by the district, all of which have caused losses, damages and averse consequences to him and his school.

A reporter asked the district through spokeswoman Abbe Smith to provide a copy of the grievance on Nov. 13. A copy of the grievance was received Friday .

Through the grievance, Carolina asks that the 3-day suspension he served be rescinded and that the district restore his “good name in the community.”

Carolina was suspended in September following an investigation into alleged grade tampering that benefited student-athletes at Hillhouse.

Shirley Love Joyner, the whistleblower and assistant principal at the school, last fall made the allegations of grade tampering and improper granting of credits for student-athletes. The investigation was made public Dec. 23.

An investigation and report the district commissioned concluded, among other things, that Ed Scarpa, a retired Hillhouse teacher, with Carolina’s knowledge, changed the course description for two student-athletes to make the course appear to be different than the one taken and to eliminate reference to the course being taken in summer school. The change appears to have been made to mislead the NCAA and/or others regarding courses taken, the report compiled by attorney Floyd Dugas says.

Love Joyner is set to retire Dec. 1 because her doctor does not want her back at the school in the environment with Carolina as principal, according to her attorney, Joe Garrison.

Mayo, who imposed the suspension on Carolina, declined comment Friday on the grievance.

Carolina also said in the grievance that the district’s report on alleged grade tampering concluded certain allegations could not be substantiated. The grievance claims other unfavorable conclusions contained in the report were flawed, not based on facts or logical deductions from facts or substantial evidence, but rather on supposition, predisposition, the misconstruing of records, the assumption that Carolina was lying, ignoring established practice and policy, particularly regarding the summer school program at Riverside Education Academy.

Carolina’s attorney, Michael Jefferson, declined to comment, but said the grievance speaks for itself.

The grievance also says that for more than eight months, Carolina sought by his public behavior only to protect his own reputation and dignity from “the imputation of unwarranted, scandalous accusations and innuendos of unethical and wrongful conduct reported to the press.”

Further, the charges against Carolina composed by Mayo concern “Carolina’s professional standing and reputation for competence, efficiency, and integrity, and thus, an important liberty interest protected by the State and Federal Constitutions,” according to the grievance.

In addition to the suspension being rescinded, Carolina has requested that: no other discipline be imposed and that he receives compensation at his per diem rate for the three days of suspension, that any letters, recorded data or information related to the subject matter of the grievance, whether handwritten, typed, tape-recorded, printed, photostated, photographed or recorded by any other method in Carolina’s personnel file be removed or are noted to be nullity for purposes of evaluation; he receive reasonable attorney’s fee for the prosecution of the matter; other equitable relief; and that the district be ordered to take action to restore Carolina’s good name in the community.

Carolina previously said at a press conference at his school, “I’m here to stay and I’m not going anywhere, my mother didn’t raise a punk.”

“I’m standing strong, because I expect so much from these students and parents and they expect so much from me,” he said. “I will make sure I do everything in my power to make Hillhouse grow and continue to flourish under my leadership.”

via Hillhouse Principal Kermit Carolina files grievance over treatment (document)- The New Haven Register – Serving New Haven, Connecticut.

Hartford Reaches Contract Agreement With 11 City Attorneys – Courant.com

HARTFORD ——

The city has reached a tentative agreement on a new labor contract with the Municipal Lawyers Association, a small bargaining unit representing 11 city attorneys.

Mayor Pedro Segarra has urged the city council to approve the contract, which would run from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2015. The council will consider the deal Monday.

The union has been working under a contract that expired more than a year ago.

“While a period of time has elapsed since the expiration of the present union contract, this was not a reflection of the tenor or conduct of the negotiations, which were cordial and productive,” Segarra wrote in a letter to the city council.

Corporation Counsel Saundra Kee Borges declined to discuss specifics of the contract, but wrote in an e-mail Friday: “The only thing we can and will say at this time is that we believe the tentative agreement is fair and balanced for both sides, recognizes the hard work of MLA members and appropriately acknowledges the city of Hartford’s fiscal constraints.”

Segarra noted in the resolution that the city and the union had reached the tentative agreement on Nov. 2.

Segarra said that the tentative agreement requires “additional funds for implementation,” which have already been built into the city’s 2012-13 budget, though he did not say whether the funds would support pay raises.

The council has until Dec. 16 to vote on the agreement.

via Hartford Reaches Contract Agreement With 11 City Attorneys – Courant.com.