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Thread: Austin Fire Exam, May 23rd 2012

  1. #641
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    Wanted to share this article from the Statesman. It's behind their paywall and I had to really work to find a friend who is actually willing to pay for that because our newspaper sucks. Article's a little scary, to be honest.

    Minority hiring played role in breakdown of firefighter talks

    Disputes that caused labor contract negotiations between the city and Austin firefighters to collapse Thursday were shaped in part by a federal investigation into whether the Austin Fire Department discriminates against minorities.

    City officials said they wanted the authority to change how they hire firefighters before negotiating their next contract with the union so that they would have the flexibility to comply with any directives from the U.S. Department of Justice, which is looking into allegations that the department discriminates against Hispanics and African-Americans.

    “If they come down and tell us this is the way we have to do it, we needed the ability in the contract to allow for that,” said Deven Desai, the city’s chief labor relations officer.
    But Austin Firefighters Association President Bob Nicks said the union couldn’t give the city carte blanche, fearing officials would weaken the department’s hiring standards in hopes of adding more minority uniformed personnel.

    The city in April received a letter from an assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s civil rights division announcing a full investigation into whether the Fire Department is engaged in “a pattern or practice of discrimination against Hispanics and African Americans with respect to employment opportunities in sworn positions” in violation of federal law.

    Austin Deputy City Manager Mike McDonald said in a statement that month that he was disappointed by the allegation and that the city “maintains a strong, consistent commitment to equal opportunities in all of its employment practices.”

    The city has struggled with staffing the department in a way that reflects city demographics for years, and in 2008, Austin firefighters overwhelmingly rejected a proposed labor contract with the city that would have given them pay raises and increased pension contributions while giving the department the leeway to hire more minorities.

    Nicks then led a campaign against the agreement the union was negotiating with city officials, saying a proposed provision to let the city develop a hiring process that deviated from any current contract restrictions or civil service laws would lower hiring and training standards.

    City and union officials returned to negotiations nine months after firefighters rejected the proposed contract that November and established a hiring process for new cadets in an agreement that expires Sept. 30.

    On Friday, both sides said there are no plans to immediately return to negotiations.

    Nicks said he hopes to eventually reach an agreement with the city but couldn’t support giving administrators unfettered control of the hiring process, a proposal he said was presented as an ultimatum.

    “We’re being extorted by the assistant city manager,” he said.

    The impasse won’t jeopardize the current class of cadets — nor will it affect the Fire Department’s quality of service or public safety, city officials stressed — but the fate of candidates in the middle of applying to become firefighters is unclear.

    Nicks said that without a contract, the city lacks the legal ground to take on new cadets using the hiring process in place now.

    Desai said city attorneys are analyzing the contract and exploring the department’s options.

    In the meantime, the department is proceeding with the hiring process as planned, a fire official said, by evaluating the oral interviews in which more than 2,000 candidates participated this week.


  2. #642
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    This article is bad news!

  3. #643
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    hmmmm, I wonder where this is going....

  4. #644
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    Those Military points are gonna help me out a lot!!!

    http://www.austintexas.gov/sites/def...ated1-8-13.pdf

  5. #645
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dame803 View Post
    Those Military points are gonna help me out a lot!!!


    http://www.austintexas.gov/sites/def...ated1-8-13.pdf
    Who raw!!!!!

  6. #646
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    ó but the fate of candidates in the middle of applying to become firefighters is unclear.

    It's leading no where . This is redic

  7. #647
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    Talked about that article with a firefighter who was at PFP last night. She said there have been a few times in the past when the city/union never came to an agreement and the whole hiring was scrapped. Sounds like stuff is still happening behind the scenes even though they technically met their deadline, so I'm not giving up hope.

  8. #648
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    Did everyone get the email asking you to complete a survey about the AFD hiring process?

  9. #649
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    Quote Originally Posted by MasterSplinter View Post
    Did everyone get the email asking you to complete a survey about the AFD hiring process?
    I just completed it. My feedback to them is to only advance the top 300-500 from the exam to the SOI.

  10. #650
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    Quote Originally Posted by MasterSplinter View Post
    Did everyone get the email asking you to complete a survey about the AFD hiring process?
    I did. My feedback was to make the process a little more transparent.

  11. #651
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    I feel like they babied us through the whole process. Seriously, I felt so pampered with the snacks/vendors, phone calls and the fact that they literally gave us the answers/ responses they were looking for (on the PFD and right before the interview!!!!!). I mean...seriously ..wow. I've taken over a dozen tests and this is the first time where I felt like I wasn't just a number/replaceable. Like they really care about the candidates well-being. That says a lot.
    Last edited by STACEFIVE; 07-23-2013 at 08:04 PM.

  12. #652
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    ...and also...their outreach efforts. The fact that they give/gave us these outlets/resources to find out more about the test, the interview and the cpat. Also, I've never seen so many females applying for a department. It seemed every 10th person was a female. To me, that's impressive.
    aliciaaaaah likes this.

  13. #653
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    Quote Originally Posted by STACEFIVE View Post
    I feel like they babied us through the whole process. Seriously, I felt so pampered with the snacks/vendors, phone calls and the fact that they literally gave us the answers/ responses they were looking for (on the PFD and right before the interview!!!!!). I mean...seriously ..wow. I've taken over a dozen tests and this is the first time where I felt like I wasn't just a number/replaceable. Like they really care about the candidates well-being. That says a lot.

    Wait..let me get this straight. Recruiting gave you answers or "pointed you in the right direction" for the oral interview in order to have more females ranked high on the final list?

  14. #654
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    Quote Originally Posted by FF07 View Post
    Wait..let me get this straight. Recruiting gave you answers or "pointed you in the right direction" for the oral interview in order to have more females ranked high on the final list?
    (((((on the PFD and right before the interview!!!!!))))) No, recruiting did not...the PDF on the website basically told us what was going to be asked in the interview and the video right before the interview gave us exactly what they were looking for.

    Let me brake it down:
    1. Austin put a lot of effort into outreach. They recruited people from different backgrounds and made the testing process more accessible with all the outreach by giving info about the department and the hiring process. They have the best recruiting outcome I've ever seen from a department. Lots of people from different walks of life.

    2. The outlets/resources: Youtube videos, Question and answer sessions. Physical training sessions. The PDF's and the outline on their website...etc...etc. The list goes on.

    3. "Recruiting gave you answers or "pointed you in the right direction" for the oral interview in order to have more females ranked high on the final list?" You completely cherry picked from my post to come to that conclusion and missed the point I was trying to make... but to address your question regardless of what my points really were: I believe, when looking at the bigger picture, more females will be ranked higher on the list..only for the mere fact that more females applied and it increases the ratio when there's more females competing against the males.

    4. They babied us by giving us food vendors and basically giving us what they were looking for in the interview. Never in my five years of pursuing a career as a firefighter has any department ever broken down exactly how they will rate us...to the point of giving us exactly what they are looking for. They call us/email us to remind us of our interviews/testing..etc. Most of the info we need can be simply found on their site. The survey to better themselves to make the process smoother for us.
    Last edited by STACEFIVE; 07-23-2013 at 10:56 PM.

  15. #655
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    I guess I must have missed the point where they gave answers to what was going to be asked.

  16. #656
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    Quote Originally Posted by psilentchild View Post
    I guess I must have missed the point where they gave answers to what was going to be asked.
    That's a shame.

  17. #657
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    Situational awareness can be a firefighters best friend.
    Last edited by STACEFIVE; 07-23-2013 at 11:06 PM.

  18. #658
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    When the answers were leaked a couple of years ago they made everybody redo the interview, so why would you state that you were given answers to what was going to be asked? Why wouldn't you keep that information to yourself?

  19. #659
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    They told us what they were looking for in the video. That's a not a huge secret. Over 2,000 candidates watched that video. Everyone had access to that PDF. Badabingbadaboom. Thank you and goodnight.

  20. #660
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    Quote Originally Posted by psilentchild View Post
    When the answers were leaked a couple of years ago they made everybody redo the interview, so why would you state that you were given answers to what was going to be asked? Why wouldn't you keep that information to yourself?
    This is irrelevant when everyone had access to the same info. The problem with before was that there was an unfair advantage and that was cheating. The information I referred to is public.

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