Eleven grievances and one lawsuit pending against North Providence

Eleven grievances and one lawsuit pending against North Providence

NORTH PROVIDENCE - Town officials say there are 11 labor-related grievances and one lawsuit pending against the town. Six of 11 pending grievances are from the union representing police officers, another four from the union representing municipal workers, and another one from the union representing firefighters.

Most cases are set to go before an arbitrator either later this year or early next year, according to officials.

The information on pending grievances and lawsuits was obtained by The Breeze through a Freedom of Information Act request to Mayor Charles Lombardi and Town Solicitor Anthony Gallone. The information provided does not include any pending prosecutions of police officers under the Law Enforcement Officer's Bill of Rights because "public statements pertaining to such are barred by law." It also does not include transcripts of the actual complaints.

The only lawsuit against the town, the Superior Court case involving Officer Daniel Williams and his case against his ex-wife Leah Stoddard and members of the North Providence Police Department for unlawfully obtaining his personal information, is still pending in the pre-trial discovery phase, according to town officials. Williams claims that police officials' attempt to fire him based on what they found on his computer was not proper.

Depending on the outcomes of some of the grievances and the lawsuit, said Lombardi, the town and its taxpayers could be on the hook for higher costs.

The following are the 11 grievances filed by local unions that are currently pending against the town:

* The North Providence Fraternal Order of Police Local 13 filed a grievance on behalf of a union member who was injured while on duty, cleared by a doctor to return to duty, but does not wish to be docked sick time for time out.

* A grievance is also pending from the FOP over town officials' decision not to fill resulting vacancies when Chris Pelagio was promoted to deputy chief. The Lombardi administration maintains that Pelagio's position is a temporary one, and that no one should be promoted until the mayor's chief and deputy chief appointments are made permanent.

* A third grievance from the FOP is centered on union leaders' contention that the town should be hiring recruits the day they go into the police academy, giving them the benefits of being an employee. Lombardi says he doesn't want to hire the recruits until after the academy is over.

* A grievance from the Local 2334 of the International Association of Fire Fighters centers on an employee who was put back on light duty after coming back from injury and the union's contention that the worker is not eligible for light duty for 18 months.

* Another three grievances, all from the Local 1033 of the Laborers' International Union of North America, representing municipal workers, revolve around Lombardi's attempt to restructure departments to eliminate what he views as excess positions added by a prior administration. Lombardi says he thought he had an agreement with the union whereby an employee would do work for multiple departments, but the union subsequently filed grievances over the matter. Lombardi and Finance Director Justin Cambio estimate the savings from the changes Lombardi made at about $40,000.

* Another grievance from the Local 1033 involves a janitor who claims he should have been appointed to a building superintendent position.

* A fourth grievance from the FOP involves accusations against suspended Chief of Police John Whiting, who allegedly removed a door in the Police Department out of "retaliation." That grievance is currently being held in abeyance, or suspended status.

* A fifth grievance from the FOP, also now in abeyance, charges that Lombardi's comments on a WPRO radio program informing the public about an employee health care contribution violated the Rhode Island State Labor Relations Act, or RISLRA.

* A sixth grievance by the FOP alleges that officials failed to notify a senior officer that an outside agency had been contacted about an incident.

Two other grievances were dismissed in the spring of this year.

* One, from the Local 1491-A of Council 94, AFSCME, AFL-CIO alleged that the town violated the RISLRA when Lombardi rejected a proposed tentative contract on Nov. 27, 2012.

* A second, from the FOP, sought to allow a suspended patrol officer to take an examination.

Another grievance, involving representatives from the Local 1033 charging that the North Providence Police Department's discipline of a dispatcher violated the RISLRA, was withdrawn in favor of the town in May.

Comments

Remember you the taxpayer are paying for the legal defense of these grievances because the Mayor is unwilling to negotiate and continues to dictate. The average grievance is
6k-10k and if the town loses as it has done in the past the town has to pay the winners legal bills. Remember many of these grievances such as the fifth FOP grievance is because your Mayor chooses to "shoot and them aim" this is not a proper tactic when you use a radio talk show to air out town business and continuously promote yourself on talk show radio. At the end of the day this is costing the taxpayer $$$ in legal bills because the Mayor refuses to negotiate and has personal vendetta's that have to be fulfilled at the taxpayers expense. Any concerned taxpayer should request the legal expenditures since Mayor Lombardi has taken office. You will be amazed and frustrated if you knew why he was fighting the fight against many black and white contractual issues. At some point you have to put personal feeling aside and negotiate in the best interest of the taxpayer.

It is well known in the city the mayor's beef with the firemen stems from him being passed over for a job when the department went from volunteer to unionized. Where did his issues with the police come from? Let me guess some cop dared to speak negatively about "the prince of North Providence"

I'd love to know the rest of these half stories. Let's start with this: The article states: "the information on pending grievances and lawsuits was obtained by The Breeze through a Freedom of Information Act request to Mayor Charles Lombardi and Town Solicitor Anthony Gallone." so who requested this information? And what prompted the breeze or whoever requested the information to even inquire on these? How did they even know about the issue unless "someone" leaked it to them? It's just another attempt by Town Hall to flood the media with half stories. Let's hear the real issues (from both sides) regarding these grievances. I for one as a tax payer would like to see issues resolved with as little cost as possible. But, as the Mayor has been quoted regarding the Maria Vallee debacle, "he doesn’t want to fight unnecessarily and cost the taxpayers any unneeded legal expense..." REALLY? PLEASE!!!!!

I can not sit here an listen to this "want more" attitude because of contractual interpretations by the unions. The cost to taxpayers is totally because of these petty and unrealistic issues they keep bringing up. I agree with the Mayor wholeheartedly in standing up to the bullying of unions against the taxpayers. It's time for the taxpayers to revolt against these unions and call for complete disclosure of any and all negotiations, it's the taxpayers money and we deserve to know how it is being spent and have the right to dispute. If necessary the taxpayers can fight back and organize as a peoples organization and demand performance and conduct to OUR standards not to these tainted contractual union deals made in the back room in seclusion and with no transparency and representation for the people. Time to back the Mayor for doing the job the taxpayers demand and take back our town. If the unions don't like it, we can get plenty of solid hard working men and women to step in and do the job and probably make us all feel better that we can trust them too.

Well Garnold it's taxpayers like you that do not realize that your leader has taxed you to death over the last 6 years of his tenure. I don't know if you pay attention to when you pay your property tax bill or your auto tax bill. Oh and by the way your taxes this year went up
.14 per thousand. Not a lot of money maybe just enough for him to pay for his labor legal bill because he wants to fight every union to your favor. Maybe if you looked at the total legal bill fight over this Mayor's tenure and with all of the concessions the Unions have made he would have been able to negotiate a fair contract for all parties and have funds left over. Obviously you don't hear about the concessions the unions madei n the media and the Mayor is not going to tell the media because he continues to promote himself at the taxpayers expense. A .14 cent tax increase is not a lot of money but after he has promoted himself with great fiscal management and a 2 million dollar surplus our taxes should not have increased by .01. But it's people like you who thinks he is doing a good job because he is a union basher. Maybe the next time you see the Mayor you can ask him why he demoted the Finanace Director who stole 47k to a union position. This was all a ploy so when she was finally convicted (civil conviction) by the US ATTY Neronha the Mayor was quoted in this paper that I am sure you read. "It would be to costly a fight to have her terminated because she now has union status." Yeah okay buddy keep drinkiing the water from Town Hall.

Well Garnold it's taxpayers like you that do not realize that your leader has taxed you to death over the last 6 years of his tenure. I don't know if you pay attention to when you pay your property tax bill or your auto tax bill. Oh and by the way your taxes this year went up
.14 per thousand. Not a lot of money maybe just enough for him to pay for his labor legal bill because he wants to fight every union to your favor. Maybe if you looked at the total legal bill fight over this Mayor's tenure and with all of the concessions the Unions have made he would have been able to negotiate a fair contract for all parties and have funds left over. Obviously you don't hear about the concessions the unions madei n the media and the Mayor is not going to tell the media because he continues to promote himself at the taxpayers expense. A .14 cent tax increase is not a lot of money but after he has promoted himself with great fiscal management and a 2 million dollar surplus our taxes should not have increased by .01. But it's people like you who thinks he is doing a good job because he is a union basher. Maybe the next time you see the Mayor you can ask him why he demoted the Finanace Director who stole 47k to a union position. This was all a ploy so when she was finally convicted (civil conviction) by the US ATTY Neronha the Mayor was quoted in this paper that I am sure you read. "It would be to costly a fight to have her terminated because she now has union status." Yeah okay buddy keep drinking the water from Town Hall. The surplus he has comes from backs of the taxpayers like you and me not his prudent fiscal management.

Well Garnold it's taxpayers like you that do not realize that your leader has taxed you to death over the last 6 years of his tenure. I don't know if you pay attention to when you pay your property tax bill or your auto tax bill. Oh and by the way your taxes this year went up
.14 per thousand. Not a lot of money maybe just enough for him to pay for his labor legal bill because he wants to fight every union to your favor. Maybe if you looked at the total legal bill fight over this Mayor's tenure and with all of the concessions the Unions have made he would have been able to negotiate a fair contract for all parties and have funds left over. Obviously you don't hear about the concessions the unions made in the media and the Mayor is not going to tell the media because he continues to promote himself at the taxpayers expense. A .14 cent tax increase is not a lot of money but after he has promoted himself with great fiscal management and a 2 million dollar surplus our taxes should not have increased by .01. But it's people like you who thinks he is doing a good job because he is a union basher. Maybe the next time you see the Mayor you can ask him why he demoted the Finanace Director who stole 47k to a union position. This was all a ploy so when she was finally convicted (civil conviction) by the US ATTY Neronha the Mayor was quoted in this paper that I am sure you read. "It would be to costly a fight to have her terminated because she now has union status." Yeah okay buddy keep drinking the water from Town Hall. The surplus he has comes from backs of the taxpayers like you and me not his prudent fiscal management.

"It's easier to meet our demands than fight us". Unfortunately, sometimes this approach saves money...but, I would liken it to extortion. When the criminals are making us do things that we know are wrong, that's when it's time to fight. Then again, many have lost their way (and their will to fight) and will join with them. That's how we've gotten into the mess. I applaud the Mayor for not joining them, just for the principle.

I am only speaking from knowledge and facts when I point out unions have undermined the financial infrastructure of the town of NP. I am sure you were not at the last budget meeting prior to our tax increase. In my discussion on why COSTS have continued to increase year after year is because 80% of the towns budget is from increases in union contracts and state mandates. Union contracts are not geared to help the town just to help and protect union members no matter what they do, how they do it or if they don't do it. I advocate the town publishing a five year budget showing the impact of contractual obligations as they are. This would make everyone run for the hills if they could see what is coming their way in the form of tax increases. The bottom line is not name calling but realizing that we as tax payers have to revolt against these contracts or go broke. Publish a 5 year budget and you will hear the town calling for an end of unions.

One of the problems is your Mayor continues to fight and doesn't get anywhere. You people deserve the tax increases you have had during his tenure. Figure how much your taxes have increased since he has been your Mayor. Contracts are beyond expiration dates and are now in the hands of arbitrators. The Town is not going broke especially with the tax increases, reevaluation of prop, and his only $ 500. car tax exemption. No wonder why he has a surplus as I stated before its on the taxpayers back that he has a surplus. I have a solution for the non union people, hire a security company for your police dept. and lets go back to volunteers. You people will be the first to complain when you house burns to the ground and your house gets broken into.

The mayor is trying to get DPW subcontracted and away from the unions.
After reading this, is there any doubt why?

Mayor, as a tax paying citizen of this town for over 35 years, PLEASE......get rid of these unions as fast as you possibly can.