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Thread: Austin Fire Exam, May 23rd 2012

  1. #801
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    Default EEOC Fallout

    So if you haven't already, it's worth googling 'Austin Fire Department' and filtering for the last 24-48hrs.

    Highlights:

    The letter from the DOJ's Equal Eployment Opporunity Commission (EEOC) found that AFD dsicriminated against minority applicants--but then goes on to say the discrimination was "unintentional", and that the discrimination was evident on the basis of statistical comparisons (i.e., the % of minority applicants who passed the test and made the hiring list for 2012 as compared to non-minority applicants).

    The short-term result: the 2012 eligibility list has been scrapped.

    Union Chief Nicks is attributed as saying the 2013 process is a big improvement, and he and others champion it's completion, but then goes on to opine that it would illegal for the city to post and hiring list and move forward with the 2013 process without a new agreement with the AFFA.

    In short, the circus continues.


  2. #802
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    "Keep Austin Weird"

    Just got to get the bumper sticker

  3. #803
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    http://www.statesman.com/news/news/l...ndidate/nZ2NF/

    "It was not immediately clear if and how the federal findings will affect this year’s hiring process. Deven Desai, a labor relations officer for the city, said Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Justice is reviewing the city’s 2013 hiring process.

    Bob Nicks, president of the firefighters association, said union representatives are “big believers” in the 2013 process, which he said he expects will show “big improvements” over the 2012 process.

    However, because the union and city failed to negotiate a new labor contract to succeed the current one that expires at the end of the month, Nicks maintains that the city cannot legally use the 2013 hiring process even if the Justice Department finds no problems with it.

    He said the union is “aggressively” trying to resume labor contract negotiations with the city."

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    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    Will not be canceled just going to take an unknown time to resolve

    Get certified get job
    And you think they are going to hire off this list. You stated is going to take an unknown time. Time is what they don't have. They have 1 week to figure this out.

  5. #805
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    Quote Originally Posted by psilentchild View Post
    And you think they are going to hire off this list. You stated is going to take an unknown time. Time is what they don't have. They have 1 week to figure this out.
    Not into all the politics or ramifications

    But maybe the city wants it to fall under civil service rules


    Or they will extend the existing contract till one is in place

  6. #806
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    http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news...atesman_launch

    OpEd in today's Statesman about giving hiring to Chief Kerr. Wish I could see what it says but the login I use is no longer working. Someone please copy/paste this if you can get in before I find someone else with a subscription.

  7. #807
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    By Editorial Board

    The case for shifting all hiring duties for the Austin Fire Department to the employer — the city of Austin — is more compelling now that a federal agency has found that minority applicants for the Austin 2012 cadet academy were victims of discrimination.

    It should be a given that the employer, Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr, control hiring. That isn’t the case in the Fire Department, where the firefighters union shares authority for hiring cadets. No other city department works that way, including the Austin Police Department, where Police Chief Art Acevedo controls hiring. And it shouldn’t work that way at the Fire Department, whose system is antiquated, harkening back to a time when cronyism ran amok in some fire departments across the country. Austin needs a hiring system to meet its current demands and goals. Clearly, the current one is broken.

    American-Statesman writer Ciara O’Rourke reported in Wednesday’s editions that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission told the city it had finished its investigation into the department’s hiring practices from 2012 and found that a group of black applicants was discriminated against because of race and a group of Hispanic applicants was discriminated against because of national origin. That news has real consequences for Austin because the city won’t continue hiring from the 2012 list due to those findings.

    To date, 96 firefighters have been hired from the 2012 list, including just one African-American. Those applicants will go forward. But there are dozens of vacancies that still need to be filled. Those positions are important for the safety and welfare of Austin. Though the city has a 2013 hiring list that could be used, it, too, is under investigation by the Justice Department. Until it is cleared by the federal agency it is on hold. And other goals the city has for its fire department also are on hold and will continue to be so until something changes.

    For years, the city has endeavored to upgrade its public safety departments with training and hiring procedures aimed at attracting the best qualified candidates. Diversity has been a key part of those goals and the Police Department is a good example. By most measures, the quality of police officers hired in recent years has gone up along with diversity. In a city that markets its cultural diversity as a selling point to attract new businesses, industries and special events, diversity is more than political correctness — it’s a commodity. It’s a main reason the city along with Austin taxpayers have made police and firefighters among the highest paid in the state and the country. And that gets back to why the city and public safety unions established a collective bargaining system (also called meet and confer) in the first place.

    A primary goal of the current bargaining system established in 1995 was to give the city the ability to circumvent rigid civil service rules regarding hiring and promotions so it could hire more minorities in a city whose population was rapidly changing. Austin’s population now is a majority minority. In exchange for that benefit, public safety workers would get higher pay, benefits and job protections. Firefighters got their pay and benefits, but the city didn’t get what it paid for. Of the 1,033 firefighters, just 4.2 percent are African-American, about half the percentage of blacks in Austin; 15.2 percent are Latino, less than half the percentage of Hispanics in the city; and 1.2 percent are Asian, five times lower than Austin’s Asian population. That is the result of a system in which the firefighters union has played a central role in hiring.

    That control over hiring has put the union at odds with the city in getting a new labor agreement when the current one expires in a few weeks. As the employer, it should be the fire chief who makes hiring decisions and has charge over recruitment and promotions. And if the chief fails to meet standards or improve the quality and diversity of the department, then it falls on the chief to take the blame. But no one is held accountable in the current system, which splits those duties between the union and the chief. The union has blamed the city for failures and the city has blamed the union. And when it fails as it has, given the federal government’s findings, no one is held accountable. Until the city has a fair hiring system with accountability, progress will remain elusive.

  8. #808
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    okay I am clueless and not in the hunt for a job,

    So how is the union involved in the hiriing process, or how have they been involved in the past??????

  9. #809
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    I don't think that anyone should be given or denied job based on their sex, nationality or skin color. Are we hiring people to meet number requirements or their ability to do the job? The numbers of the minorities that applied for the positions should be part of their report as well. If 80% of the applicants were white males common sense tells me that their will be a higher percentage of white males that move on in the process. I feel that we have done this to ourselves in a sense with all of the seperate unions. I don't have a dog in this hunt but feel bad for the guys that lost a job due to this.

  10. #810
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    "Ultimately, only one black candidate was hired out of approximately 736 black applicants, according to the letter."

    If that's not discrimination, I don't know what is. The only way that would be an appropriate amount of black applicants to hire from a pool of over 700 is if they only brought on 8-10 candidates total. But they didn't; they hired 96 before the list was scrapped.

    I (obviously) wasn't on the 2012 list, but I wouldn't want to be part of a class with this kind of history. I want to know I got my job fair and square and that my race (white) had nothing to do with the reason I got hired. I also don't want to work somewhere with a proven tendency to discriminate, so I hope this gets fixed really, really quickly.
    K_Johnson likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aliciaaaaah View Post
    "Ultimately, only one black candidate was hired out of approximately 736 black applicants, according to the letter."

    If that's not discrimination, I don't know what is. The only way that would be an appropriate amount of black applicants to hire from a pool of over 700 is if they only brought on 8-10 candidates total. But they didn't; they hired 96 before the list was scrapped.

    I (obviously) wasn't on the 2012 list, but I wouldn't want to be part of a class with this kind of history. I want to know I got my job fair and square and that my race (white) had nothing to do with the reason I got hired. I also don't want to work somewhere with a proven tendency to discriminate, so I hope this gets fixed really, really quickly.
    Well there must be a well planned Conspiracy, with the multiple steps the hiring process goes thorugh.




    http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/...color-of-fire/

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    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    Well there must be a well planned Conspiracy, with the multiple steps the hiring process goes thorugh.




    http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/...color-of-fire/

    So you'd much rather work for a department that will do anything to hire non white males. Cool

  13. #813
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    I don't see how a civil service testing process can be discriminatory. The highest scoring candidates should be hired! Perhaps this one black applicant was the only one out of all 736 that had a high enough score to make the cut. If the department fudged the numbers to exclude minorities that is wrong, but I highly doubt this was the case. We are talking about saving peoples lives. I want the #1 candidate on the engine with me...not the 800th who only made it because he has some diverse trait. I am all for working with different diversities, but we should not hire based on filling quotas.

  14. #814
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliciaaaaah View Post
    "Ultimately, only one black candidate was hired out of approximately 736 black applicants, according to the letter."

    If that's not discrimination, I don't know what is. The only way that would be an appropriate amount of black applicants to hire from a pool of over 700 is if they only brought on 8-10 candidates total. But they didn't; they hired 96 before the list was scrapped.

    I (obviously) wasn't on the 2012 list, but I wouldn't want to be part of a class with this kind of history. I want to know I got my job fair and square and that my race (white) had nothing to do with the reason I got hired. I also don't want to work somewhere with a proven tendency to discriminate, so I hope this gets fixed really, really quickly.
    AAA, correlation does not imply causation. The applications are open to the entire nation, so the demographics should reflect those of our country - not a single city. True, not every race is represented evenly. However, to look at this and say that it is irrefutable evidence of racism or discrimination is to completely overlook several other possible factors for the discrepancy.

    I am not saying its not discriminatory. I am not saying it is. We all need to calm down and wait for additional information. Either the process is fair or it isnt. It seems like the simplest way to make it fair is to take the top candidates with the best scores. If the breakdown of those people fall into a certain category, so be it. At least the department got the best applicants.

    As long as everyone has a chance to sit for the test, its fair. When people who underperform start getting advanced to the nesxt hiring stages based on race or gender, then racism and sexism are being employed in an unfair way. Racism and sexism cannot be used to fix racism and sexism.
    TheHulk86 and K_Johnson like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GLMEDIC View Post
    I don't see how a civil service testing process can be discriminatory. The highest scoring candidates should be hired! Perhaps this one black applicant was the only one out of all 736 that had a high enough score to make the cut. If the department fudged the numbers to exclude minorities that is wrong, but I highly doubt this was the case. We are talking about saving peoples lives. I want the #1 candidate on the engine with me...not the 800th who only made it because he has some diverse trait. I am all for working with different diversities, but we should not hire based on filling quotas.
    The thing is the exam was only worth 1/3 of the total score. The other 2/3 was the interview where a panel of 3 civilian community volunteers graded your responses. This is where the discrimination could have happened. I know many that were surprised/disappointed how low their interview score was, myself included. The scoring was also a mystery (interview). A 38 was a passing score and no one scored higher than a 75-77. This year, the comp score is split 20% exam, 80% interview.

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    So how is the union involved in the hiring process, or how have they been involved in the past??????

  17. #817
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    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    So how is the union involved in the hiring process, or how have they been involved in the past??????
    Through the CBA, my understanding is the Union can set forth requirements for the hiring process. One requirement I knew of was the Union wanting a passing score (70%) on both the cognitive and behavioral/integrity sections of the exam. Fire Chief Kerr disregarded this and only required a combined passing score. Her reason was to increase diversification. This didn’t sit well with President Nicks because it allowed an applicant to advance with passing one section and failing the other. President Nicks took Fire Chief Kerr to court and won over this issue.

    http://www.kvue.com/news/Austin-fire...112692244.html
    Last edited by longhorn2008; 09-25-2013 at 04:52 PM. Reason: Added Link

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    Ok, thanks

    So union was not trying to do anything strange it sounds like

  19. #819
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    https://www.austincityjobs.org/postings/search

    Wonder why the city does not adjust other job announcements to get a wider pool of people

    Would not mind being an engineer

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    New article from the Chronicle posted today.

    http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2013-09-27/point-austin-burning-down-the-house/

    ..."And the war of words continues.
    'You might think I'm crazy,' said Nicks, 'but I believe the city colluded with the EEOC in the timing of this ruling, because it allows them to do what they always wanted to do Ė to take sole control of the hiring process.' Responded Desai: 'There's been no collusion. ... The EEOC and the Department of Justice have their own timelines, and the city has nothing to do with that.'"
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