Town of Stratford and IFPTE, Local 136
A human resources director may not possess grounds to rescind a reclassification for a worker who performs extra duties—on the basis that the chief of police did not complete the entire reclassification form—if the chief of police's conduct indicates that he approves the reclassification. In January 2009, the Town of Stratford hired Ted Hainsworth as a payroll assistant. In July, Hainsworth argued that he had been performing job duties that were not part of his original job description. He requested reclassification to a higher level. On December 10, the director of human resources reclassified Hainsworth as a financial assistant to the chief of police and increased his salary grade from 8 to 9. Hainsworth promptly sent a thank-you letter to the chief. On December 14, the union requested copies of the records used to reclassify Hainsworth and argued the municipality did not provide adequate credit for Hainsworth's college degree. A new human resources director concluded that the reclassification was not valid, because the chief of police did not complete the reclassification form. On Feb. 4, 2010, he rescinded the reclassification. The union filed a grievance within five days of February 4. Arbitrators found that the parties agreed to waive time limits and that the grievance was filed timely. On Dec. 14, 2009, the chief of police sent an e-mail to the union president in which he indicated that he had seen the paperwork for the requested reclassification and that the union president could obtain a copy from human resources. Arbitrators concluded that the chief of police performed his function and approved the reclassification, as a result of the extra job responsibilities that Hainsworth performed. "Although he had several opportunities to raise his reservations," wrote arbitrators, "the Chief did not do so because the Chief was supportive of this reclassification." Arbitrators found that the new human resources director lacked grounds to rescind the reclassification, and they ordered the municipality to reinstate Hainsworth to his former position as financial assistant to the chief of police at salary grade 9. Garrett Denniston represented the municipality, and David LaFemina represented the union.