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No resolution to labor complaint against Wallingford after hearing Monday

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WALLINGFORD —  The town and AFSCME were unable to reach an agreement Monday on a complaint over the town’s decision to stop collecting union dues from two employees. 

Katherine Foley, the state Board of Labor Relations agent who mediated the hearing Monday, said she was still working on finding a settlement through mediation, and added there’s no timeline for a decision.

If Wallingford and AFSCME Council 4 aren’t able to reach an agreement, the labor board proceeds to either a recommendation for dismissal of complaint or to a formal hearing.

Council 4 AFSCME filed a complaint in October with the state Board of Labor Relations, contending the town didn’t have the authority to stop deducting union dues from two employees.

The two employees, who haven’t been named in public documents, are members of Local 1183.

James Hutt, town human resources director, said last week the employees notified the town of their intention to opt out of paying dues to AFSCME after a U.S. Supreme Court decision allowed that, and the town stopped collecting their monthly dues of about $42 on behalf of the union.

Public sector employees have only been able to opt out of paying union dues entirely since June, after Janus v. AFSCME overturned a previous ruling that allowed unions to collect “agency fees” from all members for costs associated with collective bargaining. However, by opting out of paying dues, members lose union voting rights.

Larry Dorman, Council 4 AFSCME spokesperson, said that the union provides members of municipal locals an annual 30-day window if they wish to opt out of paying dues.

It’s unclear whether the employees have resumed paying dues in order to have their voting rights restored. Foley said that was one of the issues they discussed. 

Kevin Murphy, AFSCME Council 4’s director of collective bargaining, said the union would not comment before a resolution is reached.

Murphy said last week that since the Janus decision in June, about 75 members statewide, out of 30,000, have opted out of paying dues.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the course of action if the two parties aren’t able to reach an agreement.



Twitter: @LCTakores


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