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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

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Union complaint against town resolved

Published 11:11 am, Thursday, April 3, 2014
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The town employee who was at the center of a labor complaint filed against New Canaan in December has retired, according to Human Resources Director Cheryl Jones.

Pam Lind, who was the Finance Department's accounts payable coordinator for 10 years, retired in the beginning of March, Jones said.

Council 4 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees filed a municipal prohibited practice complaint with the state Department of Labor Dec. 23 against the town of New Canaan, which was alleged to have retaliated against employees who successfully voted to unionize that month.

Though the complaint did not name Lind, who was among those 34 newly unionized workers, the union claimed that one of those employees had been discharged from his or her position.

After the complaint was put on hold Jan. 10, Jones said no one from the Finance Department had been discharged, but that there was someone working in the office as accounts payable coordinator and that person was not Lind.

In addition, the Board of Selectmen went into an executive session Jan. 7 to discuss a personnel matter "concerning the employment, performance, evaluation or dismissal" of Lind, according to the minutes. Council 4 spokesman Larry Dorman said the issue has been resolved.

"The town and the union reached a mutual agreement in Pam Lind's case," he said. "Although Pam no longer works for the town of New Canaan, the issue has been resolved to everyone's satisfaction."

Lind could not be reached for comment.

Jones said there's an individual working as the accounts payable coordinator on an interim basis and that the town soon would advertise the open position.

In a Dec. 2 special election, 34 Town Hall employees voted 19-15 in favor of forming a union. The December complaint claimed that "the town interfered and coerced employees who expressed interest in forming the union by singling them out by imposing discipline up to and including discharge."

Jones denied the allegations, saying the town does not discriminate against union employees.

"This is a personnel matter that is completely unrelated to the unionization of employees," she said in a January statement.

noliveira@bcnnew.com, 203-330-6582, @olivnelson