This is a printer-friendly version of an article from

09/28/2022 08:00 AM

Wish Nothing But the Best

Recently, a letter from Ellen O’Herlihy printed (“Hopeful Sensitivity Would Be Displayed,” Sept. 15) which stated that “Town Hall” could have been more sympathetic to her needs when, due to a medical issue with a family member, she had to take 12 weeks leave (which she was entitled to and for which she was paid). Ms. O’Herlihy worked in town hall in the building office and held a union (AFSCME) job.

As the time got closer for her return to work, AFSCME contacted me and said she would like to return to her old job for 22 hours, not her normal 30 hours. In discussions with the building official, we determined that this would be disruptive because a substitute employee working 30 hours was adequately completing all tasks. In light of the difficult circumstances, the town offered Ellen a 20 hour per week union position in town hall at her previous rate of pay. This would have given her the ability to apply for future union jobs in town hall both full and part-time. The union never responded. A few days later, I received another email from the union asking if I would consider granting an unpaid leave of absence for Ellen (which secures the ability of the employee to come back to their prior position within one year) to which my response was an unequivocal yes. After that, there was no further correspondence from the union. Two offers to continue her employment — no response. I am not certain what other efforts should have been made.

We appreciated Ms. O’Herlihy’s service to Old Saybrook and wish nothing but the best for her and her family.

Carl Fortuna

First Selectman, Town of Old Saybrook