Council 4 Files Labor Complaint Against East Windsor

New Britain, CT, July 28, 2017 – Council 4 AFSCME, the union representing East Windsor public service workers, has filed an unfair labor practice (ULP) complaint against the town for violating the legal rights of union members under the Municipal Employees Relations Act (MERA).

In the complaint, Council 4 alleges the town violated MERA “by attempting to directly deal with union members and by-passing the designated exclusive bargaining representative.” Council 4 also alleges the town is “interfering and attempting to coerce union members in their right to bargain collectively” and “interfering in the administration of the union by excluding the designated bargaining representative.”

Council 4 lodged the Municipal Prohibited Practice (or MPP) complaint July 18 with the State Board of Labor Relations on behalf of AFSCME Local 1303-166 (Public Works), AFSCME Local 1303-460 (Public Safety Dispatchers) and AFSCME Local 818-21 (Supervisors). Collectively, the unions represent approximately 30 East Windsor town employees. (A copy of the complaint is attached to this release.)

According to Kevin Murphy, Director of Collective Bargaining and Organizing for Council 4, the town is attempting to make changes to a negotiated pension plan – specifically moving employees from a defined benefit (or real pension) plan into a defined contribution (or 401k savings) plan – and doing so in a way that breaks the law. The Pension & Retirement Commission has openly discussed the concept of not only moving all town employees to defined contribution plans but closing down entirely the current pension fund.

“Town officials and their representatives have a legal obligation to discuss any proposed changes in pay, benefits and working conditions with the unions representing East Windsor employees,” Murphy said. “We believe the town is failing to meet that obligation by pressuring employees and building public opinion to change retirement benefits in a way that would harm workers and ultimately the taxpayers.”

Town Building Inspector and AFSCME Local 818-21 President Rand Stanley also weighed in on the labor board complaint.

“Our union members are proud to serve the residents and businesses of East Windsor,” Stanley, an East Windsor resident, said. “We give our best to the citizens, and we expect to be treated with respect. Going around local union leaders to push a risky retirement scheme onto the backs of public workers – not to mention taxpayers – is not just disrespectful. We think it’s against the law.”

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Contact: Larry Dorman (860) 989-9127 or [email protected]