AFSCME contract negotiations over salary increases and benefits ended months ago without success and the commencement by the Union of a State claim against the Town.
The leaked e-mail was an invitation to Union Members to go to a pizza party on Monday and then attend Monday's Town Council Meeting to urge that their contract be signed. I think this en masse move is ill-advised and would create unwanted ill-will but there are indications that the principals may sit down one more time to try to resolve all issues. Obviously, such resolution would save legal fees and restore the emotional status quo ante.
The parties appear to be mired in a factual dispute caused by a lack of communication among the rank and file. According to former Personnel Director Paula Kelly and confirmed by public documents, the dispute concerns whether or not the negotiations had been concluded. The Union claims that they were, the Town claims that they were not.
The contents of a certified copy of Paula's deposition discloses unequivocally that the negotiations had not been finalized and that the Mayor intended to discuss the Union's demands with the Town Council. It also discloses that the Union's attorney opted not to attend the deposition.
No one wants to deprive the AFSCME Members of a raise. I urge the parties to meet, put all the facts on the table and resolve the outstanding issues.