Superior Court Judge Brian J. Stern has ruled that an of the is invalid and violated the town's charter.
After numerous delays, Stern released his ruling Wednesday afternoon. His ruling also denies an injunction filed by the fire union, Local 1651.
The , moving firefighters from 10- and 14-hour shifts to 24-hour shifts and reducing the number of platoons from four to three. The shift increased work week's from 42 to 56 hours with a 10 percent pay increase. North Kingstown firefighters .
According to Town Manager Michael Embury, the amendments to the ordinance could save the town anywhere from $800,000 to $1.1 million. For Stern, this figure results in a "substantial" change.
"An expenditure of more than half a million dollars this fiscal year and all fiscal years going forward is not an inconsequential change," the decision reads.
Stern also added that the ordinance is invalid as it conflicts with the Firefighters Arbitration Act (FFAA) by "imposing changes to wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment without first bargaining to agreement or following the FFAA's statutory arbitration process."
The 24-hour shift was originally proposed by the town during last year's arbitration battle between the fire union and the Town of North Kingstown.The measure was shot down by the arbitration board, with the arbitration board citing that North Kingstown's financial situation "does not mandate such a drastic change."
Check back later for more details on the ruling.