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Thread: Austin Fire Exam, May 23rd 2012

  1. #876
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Bourbonstreet View Post
    My concern is the non-disclosure of the oral exam results. There has certainly been enough time to calculate and rank the scores, so why not release the results? I'd be curious to see where I stand before any potential "modifications" are applied.
    They don't have to

    Good luck with Austin

  2. #877
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    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    They don't have to

    Good luck with Austin
    I know they don't have to, but it would be nice if they did.
    Last edited by William Bourbonstreet; 01-18-2014 at 05:45 PM.

  3. #878
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    San Antonio is taking apps, more than likely would get through that process before austin moves

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    How many are still willing to go if your number is on the list? I'm not. I have been told i need a new knee, but I'm too young to get one. I can no longer do legs exercises or run on concrete. I have to get 5 hyalagen injections in my knee every 6 months till I get old enough to get it done or I do something stupid like I did last month. I decided for some dumb reason to play football and made things worse. Good luck to those that gets the chance to continue on to the next step.

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    Quote Originally Posted by psilentchild View Post
    How many are still willing to go if your number is on the list? I'm not. I have been told i need a new knee, but I'm too young to get one. I can no longer do legs exercises or run on concrete. I have to get 5 hyalagen injections in my knee every 6 months till I get old enough to get it done or I do something stupid like I did last month. I decided for some dumb reason to play football and made things worse. Good luck to those that gets the chance to continue on to the next step.
    Sorry to hear that

  6. #881
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    Quote Originally Posted by psilentchild View Post
    How many are still willing to go if your number is on the list?
    This guy. Good luck with your knee. I had a buddy get on with Austin's last class that was almost DQ'ed for an ancient knee injury he admitted to. Ended up smoke checking the academy though.

  7. #882
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    Sorry to hear about that psilentchild.

    City Council has a work session today. The agenda shows they will discuss legal issues related to the hiring process. http://austin.siretechnologies.com/s...doctype=agenda

    I bet what's slowing them down is putting together a proposal for the DOJ about how they "fix" their hiring for the next 5-10 years. Not to mention damage control of 2012 process. Yes, they'll modify the 2013 process but I'm sure they haven't needed three months to figure out that piece. It'll probably go before Council as a complete package agreement between AFD-DOJ. Then with the approval most likely they can pull the 2013 process out of the ditch.

    I agree with you though, WB. The non-disclosure of the SOI results is concerning.

  8. #883
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    Yeah I may not do it since I'm only 1 year out to getting my B.S. of Geology. I was hoping to know by this semester to decide to even keep pursing school. Ohh well. Maybe in a couple years they'll figure this out and you'll see me at the testing center again.

  9. #884
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    If you're like me, you're trying to guesstimate the timeline. Here's an example of a similar case that took six months from complaint to settlement.

    http://www.disabled-world.com/disabi...uit-dayton.php

  10. #885
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    Everything about that article ****es me off.

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  12. #887
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    Also this on the front page of the Statesman today

    http://www.statesman.com/news/news/l...-over-f/ncyNS/

  13. #888
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    Could someone post the Statesmen article for those of us who do not have access to the site? The site only shows part of the article unless you pay for access.

  14. #889
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    That's stealing. Pay the $0.99 for a day pass.

  15. #890
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    My friend with a Statesman subscription canceled it (because the paper is terrible and not worth the money) so I can't paste the text anymore. I did email them, though, and let them know there are thousands of us who have no other way to get the information and it'd be nice if they didn't paywall it. We'll see where that gets us (nowhere, I'm sure).

    I still want to train and work in Austin and will keep going for it until I get in or I hit my 35th birthday, but it's been emotionally draining to have to deal with family constantly asking me what's going on. I'm not one of the minority demographics discriminated against in this cycle (at least I don't think women were part of it) and I didn't do well enough on the test to get past whatever curve they're going to apply, so onto the next year I guess.

  16. #891
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    Don't jump to any conclusions, aliciaaaaah. It ain't over till it's over.

    About the subscription, all you need is a credit card and you can pay just $0.99 for a 24-hour login to access the full article.

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    The Austin City Council is poised to enter into a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice concerning the hiring of minority firefighters after federal officials said last year that they uncovered evidence of discrimination, the American-Statesman has learned in collaboration with KVUE News.

    In an effort to thwart a potential lawsuit, the council could vote on a so-called “consent decree” as early as next week, but the city is still in negotiations with federal officials about terms of that agreement, according to four sources familiar with the process.

    The sources, who aren’t authorized to speak because of the ongoing negotiations, said the decree could include a financial settlement from the city to about 30 to 40 minority applicants to the Austin Fire Department who might have been discriminated against during a 2012 hiring process, or, in lieu of a financial settlement, guaranteed placement in a future cadet class.

    The city also might agree to hire a yet-to-be specified number of black and Hispanic firefighters during a period of up to 10 years as part of the decree, according to the sources.

    Austin City Council members, including Mayor Lee Leffingwell, and Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr declined to comment Wednesday.

    Bob Nicks, president of the Austin fire union, said he hasn’t yet formed an opinion about the possible consent decree because he isn’t familiar with the possible terms.

    “We’ve reached out to city attorneys, we’ve reached out to the DOJ … constantly trying to get more information so we can develop an intelligent position,” Nicks said. “We’ve been kept in the dark.”

    EVERYTHING UP UNTIL HERE WAS IN THE KHOU ARTICLE BEFORE. FOLLOWING IS NEW INFORMATION

    Nicks said, however, that it is possible the union could take legal action if it thinks the city entered into the agreement without justification.

    The sources said city officials feared that a lawsuit brought by the Justice Department could result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and even more control of hiring practices being removed from the city.

    The effort to settle the matters comes after federal officials notified the city in September that it had found that the Fire Department engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against African-Americans and Hispanics as a result of its 2012 hiring process.

    The Fire Department has struggled with minority hiring for decades and, despite various policy changes since 1977, still lags in the number of minority hires.

    A letter from the Justice Department to the city last year said an assistant attorney general had authorized filing a lawsuit to ensure the Fire Department complies with federal law, but it also indicated that the city had expressed an interest in participating in settlement negotiations and that litigation could be avoided.

    The Justice Department had announced in April that it was authorizing an investigation into the Fire Department’s hiring practices based on information indicating it might discriminate against some minorities. It is the second time the agency has done so.

    In 1977, a federal consent decree mandated the department hire more minority cadets, and within three years the number of African-American firefighters rose from eight to about 50.

    Yet minority hiring has remained elusive for the department. The city has tried to improve diversity among its ranks to reflect Austin’s demographics.

    By early 2002, when the majority of the city’s African-American firefighters claimed the department discriminated against minorities, there were 52. In 2005, as city officials touted a renewed effort to get more minorities in the department, then-Assistant City Manager Rudy Garza said the number of minority and female firefighters was unacceptable, calling the city “probably 60 years behind.” That year, minorities made up 47 percent of Austin’s population but only 22 percent of the department’s sworn personnel.

    As of last spring, 5 percent — 46 employees, including 32 firefighters — of the Fire Department’s sworn personnel were African-American, 15 percent were Hispanic and 79 percent were white.

    The letter the Justice Department sent in September announcing its findings came less than two weeks after the city received separate correspondence from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which announced that it had found that minority applicants for the Fire Department’s 2012 cadet academy were subjected to discrimination. It was unclear Wednesday how the commission’s complaint could play a role in the city’s negotiations with the Justice Department.

    Austin is among several cities nationally to have had Justice Department involvement in its hiring or promotion practices.

    In 2009, for example, the Justice Department announced that it had entered into a consent decree with the city of Dayton, Ohio, to resolve the agency’s complaint that the city had engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against African-Americans in its hiring of entry-level police officers and firefighters.

    The consent decree required that the city develop new selection procedures for hiring police officers and firefighters, and that it pay $450,000 into a settlement fund for back pay to African-Americans harmed by the selection practices that first drew the Justice Department’s attention.

    The decree also required the city of Dayton to hire five eligible African-American claimants as police officers and up to nine eligible African-American claimants as firefighters.

    In New Orleans, the city entered into a consent decree with the Justice Department in 2012 that mandated widespread changes across its Police Department to resolve allegations of police misconduct. The decree demanded broad changes in policies and practices related to use of force; stops, searches and arrests; custodial interrogations and photographic lineups, among others, according to the federal agency.

    Statesman and KVUE

    This story is reported in partnership with KVUE-TV. See more of Tony Plohetski’s exclusive and investigative reports online at MyStatesman.com and on air at KVUE.

    The story so far

    As part of the hiring process in 2012, the Austin Fire Department had three hurdles for potential firefighters: a written test to gauge cognitive and noncognitive abilities; a written “integrity” test to measure counterproductive workplace behaviors, such as violence or drug abuse; and an oral interview.

    Applicants had to score at least 70 on the first test, and the top 1,500 people who scored the highest and also passed the integrity test proceeded to the oral interview, according to a letter to the city from the Justice Department that said it had found that the department engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination. Applicants who scored less than 70 on the first test or weren’t among the top 1,500 test scorers were eliminated from the selection process. Screening applicants on that pass/fail basis cause an “adverse impact” to African-American and Hispanic applicants, the letter says, and the disparity between them and white applicants was statistically significant.

    “Absent these differences, we would expect a substantially higher number of African Americans and Hispanics to move on to the next steps of the process,” the letter says.

    The Justice Department found that African-Americans and Hispanics were less likely to be hired than white applicants because of how the Fire Department ranked eligible applicants, according to the letter. Applicants who passed the oral interview were placed on an eligibility list based on a “total score” calculated by the city, the letter says.

    The Justice Department found that the city failed to show how either practice enabled it to distinguish between qualified and unqualified candidates. The department also said that a preliminary analysis of a different hiring process the Fire Department used to screen fire cadets in 2013 would cause adverse impact to minorities.

  18. #893
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    what a joke

  19. #894
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    So you're saying there's a chance

    Who do I give my $0.99 to?
    aliciaaaaah likes this.

  20. #895
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    Love tho doj:::

    Maybe they should test and hire and see where that goes

    """Applicants had to score at least 70 on the first test, and the top 1,500 people who scored the highest and also passed the integrity test proceeded to the oral interview, according to a letter to the city from the Justice Department that said it had found that the department engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination. Applicants who scored less than 70 on the first test or weren’t among the top 1,500 test scorers were eliminated from the selection process. Screening applicants on that pass/fail basis cause an “adverse impact” to African-American and Hispanic applicants, the letter says, and the disparity between them and white applicants was statistically significant."""""

  21. #896
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    Why is the focus on African American and Hispanic applicants? What about other minority groups who are under represented? As a Korean American (Asian applicant), our culture/nationality is under represented in the Fire service. Not trying to start a war, but throwing this fact out there.
    fire49 likes this.

  22. #897
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    I think because y'all do fine on the testing, so there's no adverse impact from it. The underrepresentation probably comes from self-selection as fewer Asian Americans likely apply as a proportion of their total size in society.

  23. #898
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    How do so many cities test, hire without doj involvement ????

    Are is it selective prosecution. ? ??

  24. #899
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    On the 1/30 City Council meeting agenda:

    7. Approve a settlement of claims asserted by the United States Department of Justice concerning hiring practices within the Austin Fire Department.

    http://austin.siretechnologies.com/s...doctype=agenda

  25. #900
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    The memo from City Legal to Council is below. There will be a minority quota of 30 for future classes in the next 4-8 years. There will be monetary settlements to some minorities who didn't get hired in 2012. 2013 process will resume with unspecified modifications to the original design.

    http://austin.siretechnologies.com/s...4110046649.PDF

    It also reveals this was started by a minority candidate who was not hired in 2012 and sued.
    Last edited by Scooter56; 01-27-2014 at 12:01 PM. Reason: Added info, updated a moved link

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