Victory for the Town of Ayer: No Unfair Practice to Terminate Employee where Town Meeting has Eliminated all Funding for the Position

Attorney David Jenkins won a recent decision in favor of the Town of Ayer from the American Arbitration Association, which ruled that there was no violation of the collective bargaining agreement when a union member was terminated after town meeting eliminated all funding for the department in which the employee worked. The Union grieved the termination, arguing that the termination under these conditions nevertheless violated the collective bargaining agreement by constituting termination without “just cause.” The Union also argued that the Town was obligated to place the employee in another position in another department. The arbitrator ruled that regardless of the negative effect on a blameless employee for termination due to lack of funding, the absence of funding for the position met any requirement for “just cause” for the termination under the section of the collective bargaining agreement under which the grievance was brought.