The town of Northbridge and the Northbridge School committee did not give adequate notice or an opportunity to bargain to the resolution or impasse to the teachers association in The matter of Town of Northbridge and Northbridge Teachers association Case# mup-07-5008, 5009 (2010).
The Department of Labor Relations ruled that the town violated general law chapter 150e by failing to give prior notice and an opportunity to bargain to resolution or impasse over health insurance plan design changes. In deciding the case they ordered the town to “restore to bargaining unit members represented by the association the cost and structure of copayments for physician office visits, inpatient hospital and outpatient surgery, emergency room visits, and prescription drugs for all health insurance plans that were in place prior to July 1st, 2007. Upon request, bargain with the association in good faith to resolution or impasse before implementing any changes in health insurance co payments. Make whole bargaining unit numbers for any economic losses they may have suffered as a result of the unlawful change to health insurance co payments, plus interest on any sums owing at a rate specified in chapter 321 section 61 compounded quarterly.
Sign and post immediately in conspicuous places where employees usually congregate or where notices to employees are usually posted and maintain for a period Of 30 days thereafter copies of the attached notice to employees”
With the major focus this year to be placed on health insurance and savings that can be had from altering employee plans, employees can take lessons away from this and other cases like it on how to protect themselves.
Attorney Ronald A Sellon