City of New Haven and AFSCME, Council 4, Local 3144
A municipality may be required to discharge the least senior worker in a job classification first. In 2011, the City of New Haven experienced difficulty with its budget, and it discharged workers. In February 2011, Chris Aceto, an administrative assistant who had worked for the city for 27 years, was informed that he was going to be discharged. The union filed a grievance and argued that Shawn Brown had less experience and should have been discharged first. The collective bargaining contract provides, "Whenever it becomes necessary to reduce the number of employees in a given job classification because of a lack of work or lack of funds, the employee(s) with the least seniority within such job classification shall be removed first." Arbitrators found that the city was required to eliminate positions because of budget concerns. Arbitrators sustained the grievance, because the city should have discharged the least senior worker in the job classification first. "[T]he City," wrote arbitrators, "violated Chris Aceto's seniority rights under Article 20 of the collective bargaining agreement." Scott Nabel represented the municipality, and Thomas Fascio represented the union.