Harris Freeman Appointed to CERB

May 29, 2009

Harris Freeman

Harris Freeman, Visiting Assistant Professor, was recently appointed to the Commonwealth Employee Relations Board (CERB) by Governor Deval Patrick. The CERB was created in 2007 as part of Gov. Patrick’s restructuring of Massachusetts’ labor relations agencies. The 3-member Board will function as an appellate body to resolve labor disputes involving public sector employees.

“I’m very excited to be appointed and have the opportunity to help advance collective bargaining rights in Massachusetts.”

Gov. Patrick’s plan should refocus public agencies that have failed to provide adequate service to residents of the Commonwealth. According to Suzanne Bump, Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development, “Years of neglect, under-funding, and duplication of staff functions has led to unnecessary case backlogs and skyrocketing costs for cities and towns in the form of providing back pay from grievances filed years ago…”

“The current director of the Division of Labor Relations, Mike Byrne, and the rest of the Division of Labor Relations has put a premium on radically reducing the backlog of cases while making sure that all currently filed cases are heard in a timely manner. I am looking forward to joining in that effort. I will, however, really miss teaching at the Labor Center. I am sure, though, that I will  find a way to stay in touch with former students, alumns and my colleagues at UMass.”

Due to statutory requirements barring other public employment, Freeman will be leaving his position at the Labor Center, which he has occupied for more than 10 years. He will remain on faculty at the Western New England College School of Law.

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