NEW HAVEN – This could be the end of the surprise side agreements with work.
A regulation that clearly defines the tax role of the Board of Alders is outside the committee and is on its way to a full board vote. Although the corporate advisor has raised concerns, this may lead to confusion with the rules for labor bargaining set out in the state's statutes.
Attorney Steven Mednick said he changed his original proposal due to some concerns raised by business consultant Patricia King, but he generally pushed back that there is a conflict between the proposal and the City Workers Relationship Act, which details the collective bargaining process .
The regulation is labeled as a disclosure, accountability and compliance law.
It becomes clear that the mayor, as chief executive officer, is the person empowered to negotiate contracts, or most likely he can delegate this to his labor director.
The main point is to require the Board of Alders to disclose all written and oral agreements that cover things like Memorandum of Understanding and Side Letters, mainly in the work area, but not limited to it.
He said the information would be shared with the Aldermanic President, Majority Leader, and the minority or third officer on matters that require confidentiality.
Mednick said the executive branch has the power to negotiate a contract but does not have a final binding agreement. He or she cannot conclude a multi-year contract that comes back to the board of directors.
The lawyer said the board should be briefed on the terms of employment and pension improvements. He said that does not necessarily mean that the board of directors has a role beyond reviewing and possibly distributing an agreement to the board in each case.
He wants the disclosure within 36 hours of entering into an agreement.
King said the Municipal Employees Relations Act already sets out the respective roles of the mayor / labor relations and alders, and passing a resolution in violation of applicable law will create uncertainty and confusion.
The business advisor said, "The proposed work regulation approval process adds a level of resolution that is not one of the options included in the collective agreements and which are subject to board approval after negotiation."
King said her office and the labor relations bureau were concerned that this additional required approval would result in sanctions from the state labor inspectorate.
"If disputes arising from this legislation come before the Board of Labor Relations, the city must spend attorney's time and / or outside attorney fees and may be liable," King wrote.
With regard to disclosure, there is no need for law to require disclosure as the documents in the proposed regulation would be available to the Chamber on request without the need for regulation. We are not aware of any case under the current administration where requested materials were not made available to the board, ”King said.
Mednick agreed that they didn't necessarily talk about Mayor Justin Elicker.
The proposed regulation and a complaint by the board of directors against Elicker arose from a dispute in which he paid for an agreement reached by his predecessor, Mayor Toni Harp.
He said he did not agree to the deal but felt he had to bear the cost as a municipal obligation.
In the settlement, retired Fire Battalion Chief Frank Ricci was increasing his pension, which the Pension Authority would approve. The multi-year contract was covered by an Elicker-approved annuity of $ 386,659. The alders argue because it wasn't up for auction and it was over $ 100,000 to vote on.