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What's wrong with this picture ? (Promotional Exams)

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  • What's wrong with this picture ? (Promotional Exams)

    A Department gives an engineer promotional exam

    1 of the guys is on duty.....the Chief's Office says that he has to either switch with someone, or use 12 hours of vacation time (Vacation must be taken in 12 hour increments) for a 2 hour test.

    I can hardly believe this is proper or legal.
    What if the guy was out of vacation ?

    WHy couldn't others conspire against him, by not agreeing to work for him and eliminate him from the testing altogether ?


    Seems like an invitation to collusion if you ask me.
    My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of my department or the professional organizations and associations to which I belong


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  • #2
    Nothing illegal about it at all.

    On my Dept you are also responsible for getting the time off for a promotional exam. We could easily have 20+ personnel taking a test that would need to be released. The FD isn't going to hire OT for all of them, or shut down a half dozen companies.

    If you have a contract with language that allows for on-duty personnel to be released to take promotional exams, than it would be a violation of the CBA, and subject to the grievance process. Absent that, it's up to each individual member to arrange their own relief, or take vacation.

    Out of vacation? A promotional exam doesn't usually come up out of the blue. Plan vacation time accordingly.

    As far as others refusing to work for him, and keeping him from taking the test? It's kind of a d**K thing to do, but no one is required to trade a shift if they don't want to.

    Sucks to be that guy, but without a policy or contract language addressing it he's probably going to be SOL.
    Last edited by sfd1992; 02-16-2011, 02:51 PM.

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    • #3
      One would think that a department would do all they could to promote career advancement. Our department will fill with OT if needed to free people to take their test. This sounds like a case of poor leadership. Are you Unioned up? What is your association doing about it?
      ~Drew
      Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
      USAR TF Rescue Specialist

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      • #4
        Originally posted by FiremanLyman View Post
        One would think that a department would do all they could to promote career advancement. Our department will fill with OT if needed to free people to take their test. This sounds like a case of poor leadership. Are you Unioned up? What is your association doing about it?
        I agree you would think they would offer it at different times so everyone had a equal opportunity to advance if they deserve it. I would hate to be told I could not advance because I was working when the test was given. Sounds like the leadership is trying to hold their people back and not give them an equal opportunity to advance. This is a bad decision on the leadership at this department that if someone wanted to cause problems with them they very easily could. Just my opinion

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        • #5
          This is a issue your Firefighters' Association or Union Local should take up with both the fire department command staff, Civil Service, and the HR folks.

          In my department, we give anyone signed up on the "official" civil service roster off for the first half (12 hours) of their shift. They must report back by 1900 for the remainder of the shift.

          Most report back immediately after their exam because they appreciate the city allowing folks off for this exam. It is a privilege - NOT a right.

          One of the posts mentioned giving multiple tests at different times to accomodate everyone. The problem with that is the folks in the 2nd (or subsequent) test group could have the advantage of having someone for the first group provide test answers their friends. It ruins the integrity of the test.

          One could also assert that subsequent tests use different questions. This is also a "test integrity" issue because some folks will argue that their particular version was harder that someone elses.
          DFW



          "There's no such thing as a free lunch."

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          • #6
            That's pretty screwed up. At Dalton they would put a relief driver in that person's place until they were done with the exam. If it was a firefighter riding on the apparatus they would take a firefighter from one of the four man companies, unless it was a ladder company, and have them fill in for the personnel taking the exam. Or, the company that had the firefighter taking the exam would stay at 1 house while the exam was going on and another company covered their district. Dalton was very flexible when it came to getting training done, except for EMT or Paramedic training. Then you had to use vacation time to go to your classes. But you could use however few hours you wished, there was no 12 hour minimum.

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