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Union members’ complaint against BOE recommended for dismissal

Alvin Mosby talks to the Norwalk Board of Education on Tuesday.

NORWALK, Conn. – A labor complaint filed against the Norwalk Board of Education has been recommended for dismissal by the state.

The complaint filed in 2013 by Alvin Mosby, Tony Miller, Clyde Richards and Paul Kaminski alleges that the BOE bargained in bad faith with Local 1402 of Council 4 of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) in a contract that changed the characteristics of their retiree medical insurance. Katherine Foley of the Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations recommended on Monday that the complaint be dismissed.

Mosby’s father, John Mosby, said an appeal would be filed.

“There is no reason to believe the outcome would be different,” Attorney William Connon wrote to BOE Chairman Mike Lyons in an email.

The new contract was signed May 13, 2013, and is effective through June 30, 2016.

Under the old contract, a retiree continued to be covered by the board’s insurance plan until they became eligible for Medicare, paying the same premium cost as when they were active employees. A spouse was also covered. A Medicare supplement plan, including a prescription drug rider, also was provided with no premium cost share.

Under the new contract, the board pays the full yearly health insurance premium for the employee who retires at age 59 until the employee is 65 or covered by Medicare. The board pays half the premium for a spouse. An employee who retires at 55 can continue board insurance by paying the entire premium. Same goes for the spouse.

The complainants say they were not informed of the change. Foley’s letter says there was an April 6, 2013, union meeting, where there was a fact sheet distributed that detailed the changes. The union ratified the contract.

Miller spoke to the board at Tuesday night’s meeting.

“I went to the union meeting on April 6,” he said. “There was no contract there. I was there. Next thing I know the contract was passed. We didn’t even see it. It’s sad because Norwalk is better than this. We got people in charge, myself, the community, we got to do a better job.”

Alvin Mosby also spoke to the board, about “ a contract I haven’t seen.”

“It seem like no one cares about anything,” he said.

On Feb. 10, 2014, the complaint was amended to include union president Stanley Shular as a respondent. The union deliberately misled union members in collusion with the BOE, the complaint asserts.

“There is nothing on the record to even remotely suggest that the School Board acted in bad faith with the union over the recently concluded negotiations that resulted in a successor collective bargaining agreement,” Foley’s decision reads. “Complainants presented no evidence whatsoever that the School Board conducted itself in an insincere manner at any phase of the negotiations.”

Alvin Mosby Decision Case # MPP30372

Comments

10 responses to “Union members’ complaint against BOE recommended for dismissal”

  1. LWitherspoon

    Can the complainant be compelled to pay the BOE’s costs for defending against a complaint that the state labor relations board declared was entirely without merit?

  2. anonymous

    How much did the Board have to pay for this lawsuit that was found to have no merit? @Nancy?

  3. The State Labor Board will occasionally award attorneys fees against a city, but I haven’t heard of it doing so against a complainant (even in a frivolous case like this one). So, unfortunately, if this is appealed it will force us to waste more school resources on legal fees. Mr. Mosby’s father John built up a good track record generating wasted legal fees, too (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1916&dat=19960322&id=KypJAAAAIBAJ&sjid=pAYNAAAAIBAJ&pg=1750,2869156).

  4. To date the costs are only around $1,700, since it was at a preliminary level. If they appeal, the costs could go up substantially.

  5. Bill

    The Mosby’s need to start contributing and quit asking for handouts

  6. anon

    Irony is, Mosby is complaining because he has to wait until 59 to retire to get his insurance and pension. Earth to Mosby, most people have to wait until they are 67 to retire.

  7. Vigilant

    Amazing. Apart from changes described, sounds like union members are still getting Medicare supplement plan including prescription at NO CHARGE. And isn’t Bill Connon the same attorney who guided Norwalk boards of education for 20+ years, negotiating many extraordinarily generous contracts?

  8. Longtime Resident

    And he will get full medical, and half of his spouse’s premium, until 65! No one gets that. Most people in the private sector cannot even retire at that age. I can see police, firefighters, and others with very dangerous jobs being able to retire a bit earlier. But custodians? Come on.

    It is disgusting that this man is carrying on his father’s costly legacy: baseless lawsuits against the BOE that we are paying for.

  9. the donut hole

    No more contracts. Or is there some law stating we have to do this? Outsource and be done with this nonsense. The schools are filthy by the way. Send your kid with a box of Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer if you value their health.

  10. By law we were required to negotiate with the union. In doing so, we included a clause in the contract that states that we can contract work out as long as we do not lay anyone off (in effect, grandfathering current employees). So on an attrition basis (as employees retire, quit, etc.) we can and will go to lower-cost contract services (as the City did years ago). It will be a gradual process, but in a union-friendly state like Connecticut, we judged this our best option.

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