North Kingstown – The results are in and are overwhelmingly weighted in support of Friday’s order of the State Labor Relations Board (SLRB) returning North Kingstown’s firefighters to their previous 4-platoon departmental, shift and wage structure as known at the end of their 2010-2011 contract.
The poll taken during a 24-hr period commencing September 29 returned a 95 percent (94.8%) majority in favor of the SLRB decision, asking only one question,
“Should N. Kingstown firefighters’ platoon, wage and shift structure be restored immediately as ordered by the Labor Relations Board?”
With 327 total votes counted, only 3.67 percent (12) voted “no” with 1.53 percent (5) unsure.
On Sunday, firefighters reported to work only to be told by Chief Fenwick Gardiner that he had been ordered to remain at “status quo” with the 3-platoon structure in place. On Monday, the SLRB filed a petition in Washington County Superior Court to enforce their order. The Town of North Kingstown, in Providence Superior Court filed a Motion to Stay the Order and an Amended Complaint, alleging among other things, open meetings violations on the part of the SLRB.
In response to the dueling actions filed in multiple jurisdictions, Presiding Justice Alice Gibney, in an administrative action, condensed the 7 labor actions outstanding between the Town and its firefighters’ union, NKFFA (IAFF) Local 1651 and assigned them to Judge Brian J. Stern who is familiar with the underlying issues.
Judge Stern is sitting in Kent County Superior Court where oral arguments are scheduled to be heard by the parties on Monday morning.