NORTH KINGSTOWN— On Monday, Superior Court Judge Brian Stern upheld a December decision in favor of the North Kingstown Firefighters Association (NKFFA) Local 1651, who have been at odds with the town council regarding a new collective bargaining agreement, ordering the town to end its imposition of 24-hour shifts for the firefighters.
The order marks a two-week negotiation between the firefighters and the town, culminating in the council’s unanimous vote on Saturday, Feb. 2, to veto a tentative collective bargaining agreement. On Wednesday, Stern certified his order and denied the town council’s appeal for a stay.
NKFFA President Ray Furtado was pleased with Stern’s decision to issue the order and deny the stay, although the town will now seek relief through the Supreme Court. Stern’s order states that the town is required to ‘reinstate wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment.’
“We would like [the council] to honor the tentative agreement that their representatives said was a reasonable solution at the time,” said Furtado. “If they do not, it leaves us no recourse except to follow through on the litigation. We had a solution to this last Wednesday, both parties signed off. The town manager and I both signed a tentative agreement, and they all were supportive.”
Town Manager Michael Embury released as statement on Wednesday, reaffirming its position to do what is best for North Kingstown taxpayers in regards to the firefighters’ contract.
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