EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Latest News

August 8, 2013

Methuen custodians suspended over canceled detail

METHUEN — The four custodians who recently were suspended were punished for working a special detail that had been canceled, according to the custodial union president.

The custodians, William Copp, Douglas Crawford, Michael Ovoian and Thomas Thompson, had been assigned to Timony Grammar School, showed up for the shift last spring and worked even though they found the detail had been canceled, said Thomas Branco, president of the Methuen Custodial Association.

“They had a detail and the administration caught on that the detail was canceled, but the guys worked the shift anyway,” Branco said. “It wasn’t a time card thing. It wasn’t like they were time card stealing. They weren’t punching in without being there. It was miscommunication.”

The four men negotiated with the School Department administration on the punishment, which was a 10-day suspension to be served one day per week over 10 weeks. They also all were reassigned to other schools, he said.

Branco said the crew worked during the shift, finding things to do for the hours they were assigned.

“They didn’t go and just leave. They stayed for their scheduled time,” he said. He could not recall the date of the detail shift, but said it was in April or May.

Superintendent Judith Scannell has said she cannot comment on personnel issues. Yesterday, she provided information on the employees’ most recent assignments.

Crawford is assigned to Marsh Grammar School, Thompson to Tenney Grammar School, Ovoian to Comprehensive Grammar School and Copp to Methuen High School.

Mayor Stephen Zanni said last month that it was important that the city take action on the matter. He declined to comment further yesterday afternoon.

Branco said he appreciated the administration negotiating on the suspensions and was glad it was taken care of “in-house.”

“When the administration wants to work with you, it’s a nice feeling,” he said. “Some administrations you can work with better than others.”

The custodians began their suspensions in June.

Follow Douglas Moser on Twitter @EagleEyeMoser. To comment on stories and see what others are saying, log on to eagletribune.com.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News

AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Photos of the Week