Torrington Union Members Take Labor Relations Concerns Public

New Britain, CT, Jan. 6, 2020 – The union representing 80 Torrington City and Department of Public Works employees is questioning the fitness of the city’s labor relations director to hold his position.

Council 4 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), alleged Director of Personnel and Labor Relations Mark Dumas has behaved in bad faith by delaying implementation of collective bargaining agreements, refusing to settle grievances and forcing the union to file Municipal Prohibited Practice (MPP) complaints against the city on behalf of Local 2212.

Council 4 Director of Collective Bargaining Kevin Murphy said Dumas’s unwillingness to settle problems or act in good faith should concern city leaders.

“Mr. Dumas has demonstrated a lack of respect for the law governing municipal labor relations and disregard for employee morale,” he commented. “His actions are frustrating dedicated city employees and exposing Torrington taxpayers to unnecessary legal costs.”

In the first unfair labor practice complaint, filed Nov. 6, 2019, Council 4 alleged the City “unnecessarily and capriciously delayed the drafting, execution, and implementation of the ratified collective bargaining agreements for the Department of Public Works and City Hall bargaining units of Local 2212.”

In the second complaint, filed Nov. 8, 2019, Council 4 similarly alleged the City “unnecessarily and capriciously delayed payment for extra duties given to and already performed by a Local 2212 bargaining unit member. The City has done this by bargaining in bad faith, specifically including, but not limited to, surface bargaining.”

The State Labor Board held an informal hearing into the first complaint over contract implementation on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019 in Torrington. 

“I’m still hopeful that we can resolve all outstanding issues, but the problems run deeper than this,” Murphy said. “The city fundamentally needs to change its approach to labor relations by holding Mr. Dumas accountable for his actions.”