FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Michael Passero and Uniformed Fire Fighters Local 1522,

 

Complainants

 

against Docket #FIC 88-402

 

New London City Manager,

 

Respondent January 25, 1989

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on December 6, 1988, at which time the complainants and the respondent appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.

 

After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found:

 

1. The respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.

 

2. In the Spring of 1988 the City of New London contracted with Yarger and Associates, Inc., for a job description-salary review survey. By memorandum dated April 29, 1988 the respondent notified city employees of the survey and asked their cooperation in filling out job description forms.

 

3. The Yarger survey was completed on or about September 2, 1988. In a September 9, 1988 memorandum to the New London personnel board the respondent identified the four parts of the survey as a job classification survey, a comparable salary report, a proposed and present pay grade report and a section entitled "department head disputes." The memorandum identified the proposed and present pay grade report as a topic for an executive session.

 

4. By letter dated September 12, 1988 the complainants made a request of the respondent for a copy of the Yarger survey.

 

5. By letter of complaint filed with the Commission on October 5, 1988 the complainants appealed the respondent's failure to provide the requested survey.

 

6. Prior to hearing the respondent provided the complainants with the job classification survey referred to in paragraph 3, above. At hearing the respondent offered the

 

Docket #FIC 88-402 Page Two

 

complainants access to the comparable salary report and the section entitled "department head disputes," also referred to in paragraph 3, above.

 

7. It is found that the Yarger survey is a public record within the meaning of 1-18a(d), G.S.

 

8. It is further found that the respondent failed to provide prompt access to the portions of the survey referred to in paragraph 6, above, in violation of 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S.

 

9. The respondent claims that it will be using the portion of the survey which deals with proposed and present pay grades in collective bargaining and that such portion is therefore exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(9), G.S.

 

10. It is found that at its October 24, 1988 meeting the New London personnel board approved the Yarger survey and voted to be guided by the pay ranges recommended therein in upcoming collective bargaining.

 

11. It is found that the Yarger survey recommended pay ranges constitute one aspect of the negotiating posture of the City of New London in upcoming collective bargaining.

 

12. It is therefore concluded that the portion of the Yarger survey which describes proposed and present pay grades is exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(9), G.S. and that the failure to provide such portion did not violate 1-15 or 1-19(a), G.S.

 

The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint.

 

1. The respondent forthwith shall provide the complainants with access to the Yarger survey comparable salary report and the section entitled "department head disputes," referred to in paragraph 3 of the findings, above.

 

Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of January 25, 1989.

 

 

Karen J. Haggett

Clerk of the Commission