The Workplace Track
The Future of Labor Unions
Labor and Employment Law Section
This panel will discuss the future of labor unions, both legally and politically. What are the trends in membership and influence? What are the trends in contract negotiations? Did the death of Justice Scalia save public sector unions?
Daniel Livingston, Livingston Adler Pulda Meiklejohn & Kelly PC, Hartford
Attorney Livingston is an attorney who has been a labor and progressive activist in three states – New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. He has been a member of the Hartford firm of Livingston, Adler, Pulda, Meiklejohn & Kelly, P.C. for 35 years and has been a partner since 1984. A life-time member of the United Auto Workers Union, Attorney Livingston is the product of the marriage of a Union President, and a Social Worker, who boasts of being on picket lines before he could walk. Attorney Livingston worked for two years as a Union organizer before entering Yale Law School in 1979. He graduated in 1982, and has since been admitted to the Connecticut and Federal district court bars, as well as the to the bar of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.
He has extensive experience in labor and employment law including arbitrations, and litigation before administrative agencies and various state and federal courts. Attorney Livingston also serves as chief negotiator in contract negotiations, and lead advocate in interest arbitrations, including the successful effort of State Employee Unions to secure health and pension benefits for domestic partners of the state’s gay and lesbian employees when Connecticut law refused to allow same-sex marriage. Attorney Livingston has been the Chief Negotiator for SEBAC, the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition since 1994. He helped craft the ground-breaking 20 year pension and health care agreement in 1997, and is proud to have served the Coalition in 2002 and 2003 as it fought to fend of then-Governor John Rowland’s decimation of public services and his layoff of nearly 3000 state workers, and in 2009 and 2011 as it reached successful agreements preventing layoffs and service cuts contemplated by Governors Jodi Rell (2009) and Dannel Malloy (2011). Helping SEBAC and other public employee unions protect vital public services and the members who provide them, as well as leverage their power to fight more broadly for all working families, remains one of the major focuses of Attorney Livingston’s practice.
Attorney Livingston represents or works closely with a long list of labor and progressive organizations and has represented hundreds of individual employees in discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination cases. Attorney Livingston also serves as the Chair of Connecticut Health and Research Trust, parent foundation of the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut, and is a member of the State Governing Board of Common Cause in Connecticut. Much of his practice involves working with groups and coalitions of labor and progressive organizations as they struggle to protect and expand the rights of working families against a resurgent right wing.
Robert B. Mitchell, Garrison Levin-Epstein Fitzgerald & Pirrotti PC, New Haven
Attorney Mitchell maintains a civil trial practice focused on representing employers and employees in labor and employment law cases. Attorney Mitchell also offers civil litigation and trial practice services to non-litigating solo and small firm practices on a referral basis. In this role, he addresses a wide variety of commercial and other matters in close cooperation with referring counsel. His aim is to assist them in providing their own clients with litigation and trial services that complement their customary substantive practices.
In a non-litigating role, Mr. Mitchell advises public sector employers, private company managements and individual employees on their rights and obligations under federal and State labor and employment laws. His work includes providing counsel to employers on union avoidance issues, collective bargaining, grievance management and arbitration, general union contract management, anti-discrimination law obligations (including sex, race, age and disability discrimination), FMLA, non-competition, confidentiality and compensation issues. He advises individuals about their rights under federal and state anti-discrimination laws, the common law, their employment agreements, severance contracts, the National Labor Relations Act and both State and federal compensation statutes.
Robert Murray, City of Stamford, Stamford
Attorney Murray is an attorney who works as a Labor Relations Specialist for the City of Stamford. He is responsible for all aspects of Labor Relations including collective bargaining negotiations and arbitration, grievance processing and arbitration, municipal prohibited practice complaints, disciplinary matters (including terminations) and providing counsel to managers/supervisors regarding contract administration and interpretation.
Attorney Murray has over twenty-five years of experience in the Labor Relations field. Prior to coming to Stamford in 2007, he began his career as a Staff Attorney for the National Association of Government Employees and later for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. From 2005 to 2007 he operated the Law Office of Robert R. Murray, specializing in Labor and Employment Law. His experience having represented both management and labor gives him a unique perspective in helping to solve problems in today’s ever changing environment.
Time: 2:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
CLE Credit: 1.5 Hours