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Franklin Police union to hold election for representation

Union members of the Franklin Police Department will vote in a secret ballot election Tuesday to potentially switch representation, according to documents filed with the Public Employee Labor Relations Board.

Three options will appear on the ballot: The Teamsters Local 633, which currently represents members of the union, the New England Police Benevolent Association or no representation. The last contract the union signed with the Teamsters expired June 30, 2011. Teamsters representative Thomas Noonan declined to comment to the Monitor.

The New England Police Benevolent Association filed a petition for the election on Oct. 4, which was supported by the required 30 percent of union members. The union represents 19 members of the police department, including patrol officers, master patrol officers, detective patrol officers, youth services officers, full-time dispatchers, secretaries and clerk typists. Supervisory positions such as chief and lieutenant are not in the union.

In September, members of the Franklin Police Department asked the New England Police Benevolent Association to come give a presentation, said Ron Scaccia, regional director. The association represents the nearby Tilton Police Department, and interest was sparked in Franklin by word of mouth, he said. The presentation focused on benefits of representation by the association, which only represents law enforcement.

“We try to take the high road, we try to remain positive and we don’t tell them what’s wrong with the other representation, we just tell them what’s right about us,” Scaccia said.

After the presentation, most members signed a form in support of the election, Scaccia said.

Several calls to union members for comment were not returned.

The city of Franklin filed an objection to the election, saying two of the positions represented by the union, secretary and an on-call patrol position, should not be union members. The Public Employee Labor Relations Board ruled the objection was insufficient to prevent the election, because the election is a matter of representation and not union membership.

The New England Police Benevolent Association is the largest law enforcement representative in the state, representing about 35 local forces, Scaccia said.

(Kathleen Ronayne can be reached at 369-3309 or kronayne@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @kronayne.)

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