BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — The city of Bridgeport has been ordered to rehire and give back pay to the fire department’s executive secretary, who was fired and replaced with a non-union employee last year.

State Arbitrator Joseph Celentano ruled the city did not have the right to eliminate a union position and establish a new job outside of the collective bargaining unit.

The Connecticut Post reports that secretary Mary Martinelli was fired in 2016 following the appointment of Fire Chief Richard Thode. Celentano says Thode created a new position of assistant special project manager that essentially fulfilled the role of executive secretary while placing it outside of the union.

Edward Gavin, the lawyer for the Bridgeport City Supervisor’s Union, says the decision could cost the city $100,000.

Information from: Connecticut Post,

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.