Friday - October 27, 2023
8:30 am – 3:30 pm

Massachusetts Municipal Human Resources will hold its annual Labor Relations Seminar on Oct. 27 at the Devens Commons Center in Devens.

The conference will open with a keynote session on diversity, equity and inclusion.

MMHR Vice Chair Dolores Hamilton, the assistant town administrator in Stow, will then present the 2023 Emil S. Skop Award for excellence in municipal human resources management.

The morning will conclude with an update from MMA Legislative Director Dave Koffman and a labor law update from attorney Melissa Murray of Norris, Murray & Peloquin.

The afternoon will feature three concurrent sessions covering post-COVID Americans with Disabilities Act accommodations and compliance; developing an effective working relationship with an insurance advisory committee; and crafting contract language for improved employee recruitment and retention.

The seminar will be held at the Devens Common Center, 31 Andrews Parkway in Devens.

Registration and a networking breakfast will begin at 8:30 a.m. The program will start at 9:30 a.m. and conclude at 3:30 p.m. Lunch will be served.

The registration fee is $90 for members and $110 for nonmembers.


8:30 a.m.
Registration and Networking Breakfast

9:30 a.m.
Welcoming Remarks
Vanessa Hale, MMHR Chair

9:45 a.m.
Keynote Panel
Opportunities for Municipal HR Departments in the Field of DEI
Panelists will discuss the field of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), the opportunities it provides to municipal HR departments, and best practices for collaboration between DEI and HR staff.
Michael Obasohan, Chief Diversity Officer, Pittsfield
Michael Taylor, Director of Human Resources, Pittsfield
Judith Crowell, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Springfield
Faustina Cuevas, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Lynn
Moderated by Jen Breaker, Assistant Town Manager, Danvers

10:45 a.m.

11 a.m.
Emil S. Skop Award Presentation
Dolores Hamilton, MMHR Vice Chair and 2022 Skop Award Recipient

11:15 a.m.
Labor Law Update
Attorney Melissa Murray, Norris, Murray & Peloquin

12:15 p.m.
Legislative Update
Dave Koffman, MMA Legislative Director

12:45 p.m.

1:45 p.m.
Concurrent Workshops
Various Rooms

ADA Compliance and Post-COVID Accommodations
Attorney Jim Pender, Morgan, Brown & Joy, LLP

Union Contract Negotiations in the Public Sector: Creative Solutions for a Competitive Labor Environment
Attorney Tim Zessin, KP Law, PC

Effective Labor Relationships for Health Plan Conversations
Sue Shillue, President, Cook & Company Insurance Services
Jill Gallant-Shaw, Vice President, Cook & Company Insurance Services

DEI & HR Roundtable
Moderated by Jen Breaker, Assistant Town Manager, Danvers
This session is intended for municipal DEI staff.

3:30 p.m.

Devens Common Center, Devens

MMA Member Program Coordinator Anneke Craig,