Apr 03, 2014

NAGE Files Petition at SJC over Trial Court Hiring Freeze

NAGE on March 31 filed a petition at the Supreme Judicial Court, calling on the justices to remove the hiring and promotion freeze in the Trial Court in order to ensure public safety. As you know, the freeze, which affects both probation and court security, resulted from the failure of the Trial Court to develop and administer written exams as required by the Court Reform Act of 2011.

“The safety and security of the public should be the highest priority for the Trial Court,” said National President David Holway. “Obviously, that’s in dire jeopardy when the Trial Court can’t adequately staff the courts or put probation officers out in the community to supervise offenders.”

The Trial Court has continued to hire and promote probation and security officers on the condition that the new hires pass the exam once it was created. The Trial Court says the delay in administering the exam resulted because the court couldn’t even find a vendor to develop it.

NAGE is looking for the SJC to apply a 1992 decision—reaffirmed by the appeals court in 2011—that ruled that a state of emergency existed due to legislative inaction in the face of reform proposals and that the interests of public safety trumped any reason for continuing delay.

Margaret Thompson, president of Local 229 said, “People in our communities rely on us to keep them safe. They put a huge amount of trust in our probation officers, and our probation officers can’t adequately protect them if there’s a staffing shortage. It’s a very real public safety issue.”

Local 458 President David Abbott said, “Now that it’s a priority, I’m hopeful that the exam process will start sooner rather than later so that hiring and promotions can continue.”

We will continue to update you on any developments related to the filing of this petition.

Where trade unions are most firmly organized, there are the rights of the people most respected. - Samuel Gompers
NAGE HEADQUARTERS 159 Burgin Parkway
Quincy, MA 02169
Main Phone: (617)376-0220
Main Fax: (617)984-5695
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