SALEM — The police patrolman's union has filed a grievance with the city over the use of civilian flaggers on a Bridge Street construction project, arguing it violates their collective bargaining agreement.
The head of the union also criticized the state yesterday for hiring a New Hampshire company to provide flaggers for the project, which is funded through federal stimulus dollars.
"It's supposed to be putting Massachusetts back to work, but it's a state of New Hampshire company doing the job," said Nancy O'Donnell, president of the patrolman's union.
Newport Construction, based in Nashua, N.H., was awarded the $6.9 million contract to rebuild a 1.1-mile stretch of Bridge Street (Route 1A) from the Beverly-Salem bridge to Washington Street. The revitalization project includes new sidewalks, curbs, traffic signals and street lights and involves repaving the road.
While that work is under way, the state has been using civilian flaggers to handle Bridge Street traffic.
The union first filed a grievance with Chief Paul Tucker on Feb. 17, claiming the use of flaggers violates the contract signed between the city and the union that prohibits non-police personnel from being hired to perform police duty.