Last week, Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Robert Rufo denied the Town of Mashpee’s motion to dismiss the Quinn bill lawsuit brought by several Mashpee Officers. The suit was filed when the town reduced the payout for the Quinn bill in anticipation of state cuts.
According to the suit, “under the Quinn Bill, a municipality may NOT reduce Quinn bill benefits, even if the collective bargaining agreement between the municipality and its union would purport to allow a reduction. This is because the Quinn Bill is NOT a statute that parties may amend via bargaining. Allowing a Town to reduce Quinn benefits is the same as allowing it to pay officers below the minimum wage. Even if the contract says it’s permissible, it is not.”
“We’re extremely happy that Judge Rufo refused to dismiss the case. The officers will now have their case heard on its merits,” said Sandulli Grace’s Bryan Decker, who argued for the officers. “We’re confident that we will prevail and that the Town will be ordered to pay its officers the full benefit to which they are entitled.”
The fact that the Judge refused to dismiss the suit from the bench without taking more time to review it was a big plus. However, cities and towns are still struggling with how to manage the problems going into the future. The recent contract signed by North Andover P.D. is an example of a growing trend.
Attorney Ronald A. Sellon