READFIELD — Selectmen canceled an executive session meeting on Tuesday at which they were supposed to discuss their response to a petition from town employees who want to unionize.

The town received a copy of the petition on Nov. 4 from the Maine Labor Relations Board for all full-time employees, besides Town Manager Stefan Pakulski, to form a collective bargaining unit, according to Pakulski.

A representative from American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 93 filed the petition on behalf of the employees. Sylvia Hebert, the staff representative who filed the petition, said the Readfield employees want to unionize in order to be able to negotiate working conditions, pay and benefits, particularly since the town announced it would be looking to make changes to employee benefits.

Pakulski said the town has until Nov. 18 to respond to the petition with any suggested changes to the unit of seven positions listed.

“They’re exercising their right, and the town has been asked to respond,” he said.

Pakulski said a reason for wanting to unionize wasn’t given, and he isn’t allowed to discuss the details of collective bargaining issues.

In an executive session, the public isn’t allowed to be present, but the board must make any voting public. The collective bargaining discussion was the only item on the agenda for the Tuesday meeting, but nothing ended up happening, Pakulski said.

The board was set to meet with legal counsel at 4:30 p.m. in the town office, and Pakulski said four of the town’s five selectmen went to the office. Before going into executive session to discuss the personnel matter, however, selectmen decided to cancel to cancel the meeting.

P. Greg Durgin, the selectboard’s vice chair, said selectmen didn’t feel they had given adequate notice to members of the public looking to attend, and they plan to meet Thursday at the town office, again at 4:30 p.m.

AFSCME Council 93 represents more than 45,000 state, county and municipal employees in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, according to its website.

Staff Writer Michael Shepherd contributed to this report.

Paul Koenig — 207-621-5663 [email protected] Twitter: @paul_koenig