Request Denied for Union to Address Town Council

The Professional, Administrative and Technical Employees (PATE) of the Town of Derry will not be allowed to make their own contract presentation to the Town Council, after Human Resources Director Lawrence Budreau and Town Administrator John Anderson advised against it. At the Feb. 19 meeting, the Councilvote0to5ona motion to have the PATE chief negotiator make a presentation to the Council. Councilor Phyllis Katsakiores recused herself because she has a relative in that bargaining group, and Councilor Brian Chirichiello was absent.

The Council expressed its confidence in Budreau’s ability to negotiate a solution. The contract negotiations have been at an impasse since July 20, 2012, Budreau told the Council. They went through mediation in November and December, still without an agreement, and were scheduled for a factfinding hearing in March. On Feb. 12, Budreau wrote in a memo, the union’s chief negotiator asked to make a presentation directly to the Council.

The negotiator would be allowed to do so under RSA 273-A, the Public Employees Labor Relations Act. RSA 273-A:12, Resolution of Disputes, addresses what to do when the parties are at an impasse, and allows the chief negotiator for the bargaining unit to make a presentation directly to the board of the public employer (in this case, the Town Council), but also allows the chief negotiator for the board of the public employer (in this case, Budreau) to make his or her own presentation if the bargaining unit’s request is approved.

The motion, which was voted down, read, “I move that the Derry Town Council approve the Feb. 12, 2013 request of the Professional, Administrative and Technical Employees’ chief negotiator to make a presentation directly to the Town Council.” Anderson urged the Council to vote no on the motion. Councilor Neil Wetherbee said, “In my five years on the Council, Larry has done an excellent job in seeking direction from the Council and keeping us informed.”