Tiverton department heads won't appeal union ruling

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TIVERTON —  Tiverton's department heads have not appealed a Nov. 7 ruling by the Rhode Island State Labor Relations Board (RISLRB) that they cannot unionize.

The 30-day period to appeal the decision ran out on Friday, Dec. 7, by which time the group of seven town department heads would have had to go to Superior Court with an appeal or relinquish the effort to try to unionize.

The department heads are "managerial and supervisory" and can't unionize, the board had decided.

Their cause began on Sept. 6, 2011, when they filed a petition with the board to organize a union bargaining unit, which the town opposed.

John Burns, the organizer for Rhode Island Council 94, of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), who represented the department heads in the board deliberations, said Tuesday that "our attorneys reviewed the case and decided not to appeal."

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.