On Monday night, the Johnston Town Council approved a new contract for four town employees represented by the Laborers International Union of North America, Local 808.
The vote, taken during the council's meeting held at , ends a two-year arbitration process, and in an interview at on Tuesday, Mayor Joseph Polisena recalled the origins of the case.
"When I had first come here, [late former Mayor William] Macera had allowed eight of his so-called professional staff people to join the union, including his secretary — and when I came in, I fired them all," Polisena explained. "I abolished all the positions, we went to arbitration then, and the arbitrator awarded four positions back [and said] I could pick the four."
The staff positions are controller, budget analyst, town planner, and deputy tax collector, Polisena said — positions that are not typically covered by union contracts.
"[Macera] allowed them to join the union — I thought that management people should not be in the union, and I got 50 percent of the pie," explained Polisena.
According to Polisena, the new contract is retroactive to 2010 and expires at the end of fiscal 2013.