NORTH KINGSTOWN, RI – A Rhode Island Superior Court judge has ruled that North Kingstown cannot unilaterally require union firefighters to work 24-hour shifts.
The Providence Journal reports that Judge Brian P. Stern ordered the town to return firefighters’ working conditions to what they were before the Town Council took action in January.
Stern delayed his decision, which was filed Friday, for 30 days to allow the firefighters union and town to put the decision in place or appeal to the state Supreme Court.
North Kingstown’s town manager said he will recommend that the town appeal Stern’s ruling.
The Town Council requires firefighters work 24-hour shifts, followed by 48 hours off, saving $1.2 million a year. The firefighters union said that would result in a 56-hour work week rather than the previous 42-hour week without additional compensation.