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Report: Tewksbury Dispatchers Accuse Town Of Unfair Labor Practices

Feb 25, 2015 06:22PM ● By Bill Gilman

Tewksbury Police Department.

The next five months promise to be even busier than usual for Town Manager Richard Montuori.
In addition to working on the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget and preparing for the Annual Town Meeting in May, Montuori is also engaged in contract negotiations with each of the town's unions, all of which expire this year.
One of those negotiations might be a bit more complicated than the others due to a pending lawsuit. 
Civilian dispatchers Kimberly Griffin, Lauren Beaulieu, Matthew Carapellucci, Christine Cicero, Janice Judd, Jason McNamara, Karen Poisson and Garin Worth filed lawsuit back in October in U.S. District Court, according to an article published in the Lowell Sun. The dispatchers are alleging unfair labor practices by the town. According to the suit, the dispatchers are required to work 8 hours 15 minutes each shift, but are only paid for 8 hours.
According to The Sun's article, the dispatchers say those 15 minutes "off the clock" are mandated as a condition of employment and come during shift changeovers, when the dispatcher going off shift is providing the dispatcher coming on with updates.
The Tewksbury Dispatchers are part of the AFSCME Union. They are represented in this lawsuit by Atty. 
Daniel Rice. According to the suit, the dispatchers are looking to be compensated for each 15-minute "off the clock" time period for the past three years.
In its response to the suit, filed in January, the town, represented by
Atty. Laurie Enghal, is contending that it has not violated any labor laws and that the 15-minute "off the clock" requirement was negotiated into the dispatchers' most recent contract in good faith, according to the article.
Click here for the complete article.

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