Marjorie Wittner

Marjorie Wittner

Labor Guild Board of Directors

Cushing-Gavin Awards Logo

Cushing-Gavin Award Recipient

Father Edward F. Boyle Award (Auxiliary), 2021

Marjorie grew up in Flushing, New York, as a Mets fan, with her two parents and older brother. Government service runs deep in Marjorie’s family – her father worked for the Social Security Administration; her brother also worked for the federal government as an emergency planner. Her mother worked in customer service for a therapeutic equipment company. 

Marjorie started her journey to becoming the Chair of the Commonwealth Employment Relations Board (CERB) at Brandeis University, where she studied Psychology and Urban Studies. After graduation, she moved to Ithaca, New York, and studied to get her Masters in Industrial Labor Relations from Cornell (where she also met her mathematician husband Ben). After receiving her Masters, Marjorie went to work at the National Labor Relations Board in Manhattan as a Region 2 field examiner, where she has fond memories of riding the subway to investigate unfair labor practice charges. While at the NLRB, Marjorie had many wonderful mentors, including Alvin Blyer, former Brooklyn Regional Director, who first encouraged Marjorie to go to law school. 

Marjorie attended NYU law school from 1986 to 1989. She moved to Massachusetts with her young family in 1992, and worked part-time as a labor and employment lawyer representing both employees and employers. In 2001, Marjorie, who missed serving as a labor relations neutral, began working for Massachusetts Labor Relations Commission (LRC). In her six years at the LRC, Marjorie served as both as Chief Hearing Officer and, for two years, as Chief Counsel. Highlights of her tenure as Chief Counsel include successfully arguing two cases before the Supreme Judicial Court. 

Marjorie left the LRC in 2007 to establish an arbitration practice and complete mediation training. In 2008, however, she returned to public service, when she was appointed by Governor Deval Patrick to serve as the first Chair of a fully-constituted, three member-CERB, consisting of the Chair and two per-diem members. Marjorie has since been reappointed twice –by Governor Patrick in 2014 and by Governor Baker in 2019. The CERB decides appeals of unfair labor practice charge dismissals and hearing officer decisions. As Chair, Marjorie convenes CERB meetings and drafts rulings and decisions for the CERB’s review and approval. Marjorie also investigates most of the DLR’s unit clarification petitions.

Marjorie has devoted considerable time participating in and organizing labor relations trainings over the years. She has served on the Board of the New England Consortium of State Labor Relations Agencies almost continuously since 2003. In 2018, she was elected President of the Association of Labor Relations Agencies and presided over ALRA’s annual conference at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel that year. She has also been a guest lecturer at the Labor Guild and the New England School of Law.

A humble and gracious recipient of this award, Marjorie wishes to thank her diligent and knowledgeable colleagues at the DLR and CERB for their support, camaraderie and lively discussions about the law over the years. We are honored to award you with the Father Edward F. Boyle Award.