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Thread: Chicago Fire Exam, March 2006

  1. #7001
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    The wait just got longer

    The Chicago Fire Department must hire 111 bypassed black firefighter candidates — and distribute “tens of millions of dollars” in damages to 6,000 others who will never get that chance — a federal appeals court ruled Friday, upholding a landmark ruling.

    Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in a 9-to-0 decision, that, contrary to the city’s contention, African-American candidates hadn’t waited too long before filing a lawsuit that accused the city of discriminating against them for the way it handled a 1995 firefighter’s entrance exam.

    On Friday, the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that ruling and sent the case back to the trial court to implement what it called the “hiring remedy” the city has been stalling.

    Plaintiffs’ attorney Joshua Karsh said the decision means Chicago must hire 111 African-American firefighters and adjust their pensions as if they had been on the job since 1995. Six-thousand others will share “tens of millions of dollars” in damages, Karsh said.

    “We won last June 9-to-0, which is unusual in a civil rights case,” Karsh said. “We then had the city raise a dispute on what the Supreme Court’s opinion means. The Seventh Circuit agreed with us that hiring must now take place.

    “The city gave a test back in 1995 that did not measure the abillity to be a firefighter. It made it more than six times more likely that white applicants would be hired rather than African-Americans with no job-related justification. Nothing about getting a high score on that test predicted anything about whether you’d be a superior firefighter.”

    When results from the 1995 entrance exam were disappointing for minorities, the city established a cutoff score of 89 and hired randomly from the top 1,800 “well-qualified” candidates.

    In 2005, a federal judge ruled that the city’s decision had the effect of perpetuating the predominantly white status quo, since 78 percent of those ‘’well-qualified’’ candidates were white.

    Although the city has no choice but to start hiring black firefighters, outgoing Corporation Counsel Mara Georges called Friday’s ruling a “partial win” for the city because it will reduce the amount of damages the city must pay to roughly $30 million.

    “Our position was affirmed, in part, reducing one group of class members,” Georges said. “It’s 21 fewer people, which does reduce the damages.

    “We’re pleased that it was a partial victory, and we’re analyzing the rest of the decision to make a determination as to how we should proceed.”

    One of those expected to be vying for the coveted 111 jobs is Handy Johnson, a 49-year-old personal trainer whose dream of becoming a Chicago firefighter was put off for so long that he’s nowy 10 years above the city’s age limit for new firefighter hires of 38 years old. Thats age limit won’t apply to the 111 new hires because the discrimination occurred before the cutoff was established.

    That means Johnson has a chance, provided he’s lucky enough to be among those chosen randomly and physically fit enough to perform the strenuous job.

    Johnson could not immediately be reached for comment Friday. But he still wants to be a firefighter, he said in an interview ater last year’s Supreme Court ruling.

    “I’m still in excellent shape,” Johnson said. “If they pick me, I should be given that chance. I do personal training. I’m a skill development coach for basketball and body conditioning. It‘s a physically demanding job. I know I can do the job.

    “I took that test wanting to have a job where I could give back to my community and establish a family tradition for my four sons. It was the job of a lifetime, but I was never given that chance. It was a huge slap in the face. Now, I feel a hundred pounds lighter. It feels like when you know you have all the odds stacked against you, but, in the end, God makes sure the righteous prevail.”

    Friday’s ruling exacerbates a city budget crisis that Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel, who will be sworn in on Monday, will inherit from Mayor Daley.

  2. #7002
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    In the article it relates hiring rules determination are to be sent back to trial court, so that could take a while plus unless it changes they have two years to hire and it is 21 less guys. So i still see it taking a long time any thoughts?

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    I am 34 and in the 55**'s on the list. I guess this screws my dream. I am stunned the people of Chicago have not stood up and said " I feel uncomfortable having a person who can't pass a basic knowledge test and who is new to the dept at 50 years old saving my ***".

  4. #7004
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbell1977 View Post
    I am 34 and in the 55**'s on the list. I guess this screws my dream. I am stunned the people of Chicago have not stood up and said " I feel uncomfortable having a person who can't pass a basic knowledge test and who is new to the dept at 50 years old saving my ***".
    Although I agree with you that citizens of this city should be upset by this ruling, I am not surprised at all by the lack of knowledge regarding it. The hiring practices and basic job functions of the Fire Department go unnoticed. Over the last few years, I have had countless conversations with people regarding my(our) situation and they always are dumbfounded by the hiring procedure. I think the Dept could really benefit from a strong PR campaign to educate this city about what the Fire Department actually does, how absurd the city's hiring practices are, and the overall REVERSE DISCRIMINATION within the ranks. But.......I guess I'll just keep dreaming......

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    Well we just got F'd! but its all good some 48 year old who wont be able to do the job 25 years like us can do it for 3-5 before he kills someone a fellow firefighter, a citizen, or heck maybe himself!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daaaabears View Post
    Although I agree with you that citizens of this city should be upset by this ruling, I am not surprised at all by the lack of knowledge regarding it. The hiring practices and basic job functions of the Fire Department go unnoticed. Over the last few years, I have had countless conversations with people regarding my(our) situation and they always are dumbfounded by the hiring procedure. I think the Dept could really benefit from a strong PR campaign to educate this city about what the Fire Department actually does, how absurd the city's hiring practices are, and the overall REVERSE DISCRIMINATION within the ranks. But.......I guess I'll just keep dreaming......
    That would be great but some people will get offended and then their will be more court cases making getting hired more difficult. I do have a question though. When the city send the "entitlement class" through the academy, what happens if they can't pass classes that deal with fire chemistry and situations that deal with types of gases etc? Do they get kicked out or do they get to stay in because life wasn't fair to them and they didn't learn chemistry in high school?

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    Chicago public school is where I went does that mean I should start a suit too!! Just saying.. I think there full of crap school is what you make of it.

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    Lets hope for the best hang in there
    Last edited by ILFFPM; 12-19-2012 at 02:27 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbell1977 View Post
    That would be great but some people will get offended and then their will be more court cases making getting hired more difficult. I do have a question though. When the city send the "entitlement class" through the academy, what happens if they can't pass classes that deal with fire chemistry and situations that deal with types of gases etc? Do they get kicked out or do they get to stay in because life wasn't fair to them and they didn't learn chemistry in high school?
    I have heard that they will have "tutors" per so many guys to help make sure they pass the academy. Whether or not that is true. If these guys cant place well on the 95 list...then cant pass a simple ff2 class...then the city has serious problems.

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    I am in no way associated with this hiring process or never will be. I feel bad for all. The article I just read on this is appauling and I cant believe how stupid this is. I feel bad for the citizens of Chicago.

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    lets hope for the best
    Last edited by ILFFPM; 07-28-2012 at 07:09 PM.

  13. #7013
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    Quote Originally Posted by ILFFPM View Post
    Blue or any one Do you agree that it may still be a long time to hire these entitlement people? I'm trying to stay logical...
    Yes. The city needs to complete court ordered steps before forming a class. This will take time. My guess is that it will happen between 12-24 months from now. This is not even close to an ideal situation but it's not the end of the world. Add 111 to those of us waiting. It's one class. I think you guys will be fine. My feeling is that they'll get one or two classes in before them, but i'm leaning more on the one class side. Don't get worked up by this, nothing can be done.
    Last edited by blue2520; 05-13-2011 at 08:16 PM.

  14. #7014
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    Default Not the end of the world...

    Well, in the larger scheme of things, no. But in a very real sense, a bunch of guys around age 37, maybe even 36, might just have had their chance taken from them. This is a terrible situation for all involved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TRCO2H View Post
    Well, in the larger scheme of things, no. But in a very real sense, a bunch of guys around age 37, maybe even 36, might just have had their chance taken from them. This is a terrible situation for all involved.
    Yes, you're right. I'm not making light of it in any way. I see very clearly what's happening and who will feel the pain.

    But I'm looking at the numbers. A ton of people with 30+1 and a new mayor that campaigned on cutting current police and firefighter pensions. This isn't news to anyone. The cutting of pensions will happen this year to early next year latest. The door will open and those that don't want to retire with less will walk. I don't see many staying a few years just to give up money. That's very real and nothing is going to chage it. Rham isn't going to ask for permission and owes no one politically (yet). The state is broke and will fall with very little fanfare.

    *Disclaimer: I do not wish to get hired because of this type of scenario or wish this on any member of the department*

    Do some research on what happend to police and fire pensions in Baltimore, MD. New mayor cut current member pensions as her first order of business. Current members have to work longer and take home less. 100's walked. They can't hire quick enough..
    Last edited by blue2520; 05-13-2011 at 09:42 PM.

  16. #7016
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    Do they have to go through the emt portion of the academy?

  17. #7017
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    hang in there fellas
    Last edited by ILFFPM; 12-19-2012 at 02:28 AM.

  18. #7018
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4leafclover View Post
    Do they have to go through the emt portion of the academy?
    If it was required in 95 then yes. Any requirement that they need to follow will go retro to 1995. Drug testing, fitness standards, certs, etc...
    Last edited by blue2520; 05-13-2011 at 09:52 PM.

  19. #7019
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    Its just not us whose waiting that are getting the shaft. Think about the good men & women whose been putting there life on the line for under 16 years and about to lose seniority to 111 people off the street. Im not being racist but how many of them can they find thats not murdered, in jail, without a record, drug free, and not in chicago because they cant afford it. Do they have a time limit to finding these people? This could take forever.. I bet 90% would take the money and run

  20. #7020
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    Alright Sorry to keep posting but i think i understand the ruling now after reading it a couple times.the ruling was obviously upheld and as we read it is now 111 instead of 132 or 120. due to the first class off 95 list was prior to law suit filing so it is not in the mix in laymans terms. So the only thing as i understand to be remanded to the district court is that relief,the hiring 111 instead of above numbers for the city as wellas 10 million less in payout. So I'm guessing nothing else such as hiring timeframe will be on the table since that is ruled on already.

  21. #7021
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    I Did not see where in the ruling it said when the monetary payout would occur, blue i think you said like six months after they start the academy? Just curious where it is written since that would be a reason not to hire these guys till later

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    From the notice

    “I’m still in excellent shape,” Johnson said. “If they pick me, I should be given that chance. I do personal training. I’m a skill development coach for basketball and body conditioning. It‘s a physically demanding job. I know I can do the job."

    When he says if they pick me? What does that mean? Will he now get a number like us. Or does he have to get chosen amongst the entitled group.

    How would they choose them?

    Were there no whites or Hispanics or Asians that didn't make that cut in 95?

    Does anyone know what made well qualified and qualified racist? I have yet to see that explained. Because I know that every single person that didn't make it in 95 was not black.

    -This is a joke. Chicago is the laughing stock of the country along with Illinois. I'm seriously embarrassed.
    I should be in the next class and although this may set us back I got over waiting a long time ago. I just have to live my life and if it comes great. I used to get so excited thinking, oh man, this is it this time. But this thing does have me aggravated.
    It's funny when my friends and family keep asking me what's going on, did you start yet and I tell them the same thing for 2 years it's to the point where they look at me and are like. " damn! They are pimpin your *** like a hooker"
    This is a ****ing joke.
    Anyways hope I see you boys in blue sometime sooner than later.
    Last edited by Justwaitin; 05-16-2011 at 03:15 AM.

  23. #7023
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    I totally agree with you!!! On another note today is a day for the city.. lets see what he does hopefully we get thrown a bone maybe a letter something.

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    The whole thing is a joke
    Last edited by harrynuts; 11-07-2013 at 10:37 PM.

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    So, the argument was that "the city gave a test back in 1995 that did not measure the abillity to be a firefighter"? Simple fix...require certifications to apply and give preference to those with experience. That should make the winers happy...

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