NEW BRITAIN, Conn. — The union representing Norwalk Public Works employees has filed a Municipal Prohibited Practice (MPP) complaint against the city alleging acts of discrimination and retaliation against its workforce.
Council 4 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) lodged a formal complaint on June 14 with the Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations on behalf of affiliated Local 2405, which represents more than 125 city workers, a press release said.
The complaint centers on the city’s refusal to allow Local 2405 member Scott Shular to transfer into a lower classification in the Parks and Recreation Department, as has been the practice in the past, the release said. Shular works as a heavy equipment operator and wants to transfer to a laborer’s position within Parks and Recreation. The union currently has a promotion grievance pending on Shular’s behalf dating back to 2011, when he was denied a plumber/pipefitter position.
The complaint, attached below, alleges that the city is retaliating against Shuler for his grievance.
“Clearly the city of Norwalk, through Personnel Director James Haselkamp, is retaliating against Scott for exercising his rights to union representation,” said Council 4 Staff Representative Todd Webb, who advocates for Local 2405, in the press release. “The city’s behavior is part of a disturbing pattern of disrespect for the rights of our members under law, not to mention their dignity as workers.”
Haselkamp was not available Friday for a comment. Mayor Richard Moccia did not return an email requesting comment.
Local 2405 President Milt Giddiens urged the City not to fill the laborer position within Parks and Rec until this latest grievance is resolved, the release said. “Not filling this position until the legal situation is settled is the right thing to do, and the fair thing to do, for everyone involved,” Giddiens said in the release.
Council 4 in its complaint seeks a comprehensive remedy that includes allowing Shular to transfer; and to make him whole for any losses incurred by the denial of the transfer.