CRANSTON—The Rhode Island State Labor Relations Board (SLRB) has delayed the official release of its decision in favor of the North Kingstown firefighters against the town of North Kingstown and its council. The North Kingstown Firefighters Association (NKFFA), Local 1651, have had a complaint pending for the past several months, claiming that the town engaged in ‘unfair labor practices’ in regards to the March 6, 2012, resolution which implemented a three-platoon shift system.
“[The motion] was tabled because the attorney is still working on the draft, so the decision order is not concluded yet,” said Robyn Golden, administrator for the SLRB. “Hopefully, the attorney for the board will conclude their decision order and present it at another board meeting to be set next week for the board to review and sign as written, if applicable.”
Golden did not have a specific date for the board meeting scheduled as of Wednesday.
Earlier this month, a Superior Court judge denied the town its appeal in overturning the SLRB’s decision, one in which the town will continue to pursue. Ray Furtado, president of the NKFFA, was surprised at the town’s action.
“[The town] had three lawyers and two town council members present, and they are trying to block a process that the courts said shouldn’t continue,” said Furtado at the time. “Under a different judge, they got the same result.”
“We have lost just shy of $2.3 million, and that is before attorney costs and court fees,” he added. “To this point, there has been no accountability, and the responsibility for that rests with this town council. There are no words for how frivolous and wasteful the proceedings were.”
For the rest of this story and more local news, pick up the Sept. 19 issue of the Standard Times.