Counsel: No union for police chief

Written by Administrator
 | Tuesday, 01 September 2009 20:01

Massachusetts law, as well as his own contract, would prevent Duxbury Police Chief Mark DeLuca from joining a labor union, Town Counsel Robert Troy said this week.

Troy submitted a five-page memo, dated Aug. 31, to the Board of Selectmen in response to whether or not a police chief is legally restricted from joining a union, according to the memo.

Massachusetts General Law Chapter 150E defines public employees who are able to unionize, and specifically excludes heads of departments.

Troy’s memo said for this reason a chief would not be able to join a labor union, and in addition, the fact that DeLuca is governed by a contract precludes him from reaching any other type of bargaining agreement.

“The Police Chief elected to secure contractual protection for his position and that contract is dispositive of most, if not all, of the questions relating to ... his employment as Duxbury Police Chief,” wrote Troy in the memo.

Troy went on to say that the Town Manager Act also lends weight to the argument that the police chief cannot join a union, because it would undercut the ability laid out in the act of the town manager to appoint or dismiss the position of police chief.

Troy met with the Board of Selectmen Monday night in executive session to discuss pending litigation.

To read the memo, click here.