Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Live Reporting: Fire Dept civil service discussion

1. Resolution 16-58: Request for Legislation
Exempting all positions in the Fire Department from Civil Service Law

The formal document can be found here

Chief McCarragher
The civil service has provided us valuable employees, it is flawed with regards to hiring and promoting. The discussion is to get people into positions quicker. It has cost us 20 weeks to bring people in. It is time to move on from the system and move to a system that will allow us to be more timely.

We don't agree with leaving civil service, we have negotiated the promotion side. It doesn't fix the hiring process. There are a lot of things that it does well and some it doesn't do well. It is not apples and oranges. Hiring would be more difficult

Nutting: I sent everybody a memo, it takes months to get people hired. How can we do this quicker. The Police as an example. They had a test in November, they'll have someone in December, 30 days. It is really up to the Council to make the decision

3 completing physical ability test, 3 other open spots

Dellorco: I took the civil service test in Boston years ago. I called other departments how is taking so long? I don't know where civil service is the problem. Fall River came out 2 years ago, and went back. Would we have preference for children of members?

Nutting: No, not by law

Kelly: we do not proctor our exams

Dellorco: Hopkinton got 35 applications and hired one
Nutting: we could use the civil service list along with this. We struggle with the process as the first person on the list is not the one we want. It does take time to do the background checks, etc. 

Pellegri: why are you so adamant to get rid of civil service?

McCarragher: I don not know that we are adamant, we want an efficient and quicker process. We are trying to do the process better. We think we can do that better outside of civil service than in. It is your decision, we will work with what we have

Nutting: there is not enough people to take the exam, so we are going to wait another year to get a captain. The proof is in the pudding, look at the Police dept. as a good example

Pfeffer: would we get someone from Franklin?

Nutting: any existing list would be honored until it expired. That was always part of the deal. Since 1950, approximately.

Pfeffer: I have been in Franklin all my life, my relatives were fire fighters and I see no reason why we would remove it

Jones: as a member of the two largest unions I am glad for the ability for the two parties. Apparently, there hasn't been enough discussion to reach a solution. I think there needs to be more discussion. There needs to be a reasonable solution to this problem.  

Bissanti: candidly, I see both sides. These are our first responders, I think they should be happy. I haven't been given enough info on going away from it. If they feel comfortable with it, I am comfortable.

Padula: Both sides have compelling arguments. This is not going to be a 9-0 vote. My decision is not going to be based on the morale of the fire dept. I don't feel it is the same as the police. At the end of the day it is based upon significant vetting. A lot of time has been spent on this. They are still talking and that is a good thing. When my head hits the pillow, I will sleep well.

Mercer: I have gone back and forth. I am trying to look at the logic picture, there are compelling arguments at both sides. When civil service came in in the 1950's, there were 15 groups, over the years the other 14 groups have moved away from civil service for one reason or another. Over the time, I have not heard of any mistakes in making those moves away from civil service. Civil service for the existing doesn't change, wheat does change is the new hires coming on board. This is one of the more difficult decisions I have had to make. They are not easy discussions. There needs to be ongoing discussions to make this better.

Kelly: I feel like since I got on the Council that this has been a pending decision. I hope that we can do that tonight and move on. The union and the fire fighters have been great and we'll work together

Yes would send the petition to the legislator
6 no (Pellegri, Padula, Pfeffer, Bissanti, Dellorco, Jones)
3 yes (Mercer, Vallee, Kelly)

Civil Service will stay

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