Sunday, April 2, 2017


This is the second article in the series on Civil Service and why you should Vote NO on Prop 2.  I think that, when presented with the facts you will see that the current promotional process will be superior to Civil Service in every aspect.  The process for promoting within the Fire Department under Civil Service is contained in Local Government Code Chapter 143.030 thru 143.038.  I will take you through Chapter and Verse of this code.

                                                                                       Civil Service
143.030 (b) Eligibility for promotion requires, at least two years in the position/classification that is immediately below the one in which you are being tested.
143.032 (a) The Commission shall adopt rules governing promotions and shall hold promotional examinations to provide eligibility lists for each classification.
143.032 (B) (c) The examination must be entirely  in writing and may not in any part consist of an oral interview. THIS IS THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO SYSTEMS!
143.033 (b) One point is added to the written test score for each year of seniority, up to 10 pts.
                (c) The grade that must be placed on the eligibility list for each fire fighter shall be computed by adding the applicant’s points for seniority to the applicant’s grade on the written examination. ( WELL, SO MUCH FOR WHAT YOU KNOW INSTEAD OF WHO YOU KNOW.  It looks to me like someone who scores lower can be promoted due to seniority.)
                (d)  Within 24 hrs. the Commission will post the raw test scores in the lobby of city hall.
143.036 (a) A vacancy can be filled by the following:  1. Resignation  2.  Retirement  3.  Death  4.  Promotion  5.  Indefinite Suspension  *THIS IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE YOU CAN’T BE FIRED*(REMEMBER THE OPENING PARA OF 143 STATES THAT THIS IS FOR “PERMANENT EMPLOYMENT TENURE” YOU CAN ONLY BE PUT ON INDEFINITE SUSPENSION)
               (b)  The Civil Service Director will certify to the Fire Chief the three persons having the highest grades on the eligibility list.
               (f)  The Chief will appoint the candidate having the highest grade on the eligibility list.  *Ding Ding Ding We Have A Winner But He/She Is Not The Most Qualified Person For The Job!!!!!!!!!!* He/She Is  Only The Person That Scored Well On The Test Without Demonstrating Any Propensity To Accomplish The Job.

                                                                                           Home Rule
Arlington Fire Department Administrative Procedures (Promotions) 101.11
(A,B, & C) Apparatus Operator, Lieutenant and Captain must have held the lower rank for two yrs.  College credits must be obtained as of January 1, 2022 for each rank.
(D) Battalion Chief can hold Lieutenant and have a passing score on the most recent Captain’s exam.  As of January 1, 2022 obtained a Bachelor’s Degree.
(E)  Assistant Chief: hold a rank of Battalion Chief or Captain and have a Bachelor’s Degree currently.
Written Exam:  The Chief will establish a Task Force of six officers of higher rank than that being tested to assemble study materials and construct a test.  A study materials list will be posted 90 days before the test and the number of positions being open will also be posted.  Human Resources and Fire Admin. will administer the exam.  All written test scores will comprise 50% of the total score.
Apparatus Operator:  Will be assessed on technical knowledge, practical driving, equipment operation skills, and other Apparatus Operator related policies and procedures.  (SO YOU TEST AND THEN ALSO SHOW YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND OPERATION OF DRIVING THE VEHICLE)   This practical demonstration will be the other 50% of the total grade.
Lieutenant:  Must hold Fire Officer I Cert and completed Officer Development ”Emergency Operations” or Company Officer I course.
Captain:  Must hold Fire Officer II Cert, and Officer Development “Emergency Operations” course.
Both the Lieutenant and Captain ranks will verbally be interviewed to assess Tactical/Management skills.  They will demonstrate technical, supervisory, tactical knowledge and skills.  The verbal interview will consist of 50% of the grade and added to the examination score.  Additional points can be added for college credits.  These educational points are added to oral and written exams for final placement on the eligibility list.  Seniority in rank is only used as a tie breaker. 

As you can plainly see the interview process is lost in Civil Service.  You only promote via test score, which tells you nothing of the individual you just hired.  Current Home Rule procedure requires you to score well, and also requires you to apply the learned knowledge in scenarios under pressure.  No extra points for seniority, just completed education.  Give me the person that can apply knowledge in a practical sense.  Below is the breakdown:

Civil Service All Ranks:   Two yrs. in grade + Written Test + Seniority pts. = Rank on Eligibility list Must Hire #1.

Home Rule Driver:  Two yrs. in grade + Written Test (50%) + Driving Test (50%) + Educational pts. = Rank on Eligibility list.

Home Rule Lieutenant:  Two yrs. in grade + Fire Officer I Cert. + Officer Development “Emergency Operations” or Company Officer I  + written test (50%) + oral interview (50%) + Educational pts = Rank on Eligibility list.

Home Rule Captain:  Two yrs. in grade + Fire Officer II Cert. + Officer Dev. “Emergency Operations” + Written Test (50%) + Oral Interview (50%) + Educational pts. = Rank on Eligibility list.   


  1. Citizens, My Parker is on target. Current rules are much more scientifically and legally defensible. Just check the records we have had no law suits and very few low level grevances that were resolved internally. Union can't show disparate treatment.

    The unions's target on this is to unionize or control chief officer/management positions to take back staffing and overtime decisions and roadblock any administrative decisions.

    Vote No!

  2. So, I went to the union's vote yes website...they are managing it so there aren't any anti's on it. And they are sticking to their overly simple statements. Beware citizens, they use an example of a particular senior captain that has been overlooked for a management spot as a reason for civil service. While arguably that captain was a good captain, he is also well known and outspoken about any progressive steps the department made. It's personal for him because he can't seem to get promoted by the very bosses he openly defys and agitates.

    Again that's a big reason they want civil service so only the written test and seniority points gets you promoted higher and you can still defy your bosses.

    This is the same guy that retired with all the current exit pay check amounts that exceeds civil service requirements. He gets the union to change the bylaws to allow retirees to stay in. Just to fight his personal vendetta and ruin benefits for the younger generations. Shame on you!

    Once Mr Parker shares the discipline facts, you should see where the real hidden cost of 143 will be.....the constant court battles over progressive promotion and discipline policies.

    Then in a few years the union will say only collective bargaining contracts will stop it dung!

    Vote No!

    PS- I tried to post this and other stuff on their website and FB; nothing gets published.

  3. Kind of like good old Chuckie here controls the narrative and doesn't allow all of the facts on his pretty little website?

  4. Mr Parker shares the facts. He also has a right to his opinion on his blog. You have the same rights. All of this is politics at its worst. I imagine you're one of the union's terrorists that's been hiding for some time and tryin to take down the very department that keeps you safe and PAID.

    Like I've always said, let's debate this openly and in a civil manner. The truth will prevail on the city's record....just ask for the truth! Your union leadership has been lying about Meet and Confer as well as labor/management meetings for years.

    Why aren't the police interested in joining your cause?

    Because they know all their recent disciplines
    Will surface and all their in fighting regarding their own various labor associations will come to light.

    Careful citizens, the firefighter union and the police are stratigizing. The old police union boss is their current civil service campaign PR manager!

    Vote No!

  5. As an Arlington citizen and ardent supporter of our firefighters and the AFD, I felt compelled to bring some things forward. I attend or watch every City Council work session to stay informed. Tuesday I watched our Fire Chief present the 2016 annual report , highlighting the highly efficient and effective operations of our fire department. If anyone reading this has not seen the report, I encourage you to do so is enlightening and can be found on the fire departments web site .As an African American woman who is leader in our business community, I feel compelled to protect my identity for fear of retaliation by a few Arlington firefighters who have clearly stooped to new lows as they have begun threatening firefighters who do not support Prop 2 if they make their opposition publicly known. This is PATHETIC. It screams of desperation. I expect much better from those sworn to protect and serve our community.
    Through work session attendance and reviewing publicly available documents I am aware that;
    • The City and AFD have extremely thorough, professional and fair policies and practices on hiring, promotions and discipline...the three areas addressed by Civil Service laws that some seem to want so desperately (threatening fellow firefighters to keep their opposition private is "desperation"). The City has made these documents addressing hiring ,promotions and discipline available at, along with FAQ's that succinctly compare Arlington practices to those required by Civil Service law...a rigid and archaic set of rules established in the 1940's designed to protect employees from political influence and provide perpetual employment. It is ironic the firefighters association/union wants to keep political influence out of hiring, promotions and discipline, yet actively campaigns for City Council members ..the very "political influence" they seek to avoid. By the way, elected officials in Arlington have no involvement in anything to do with hiring, promotions or discipline within the Arlington Fire Department.
    I have thoroughly reviewed Civil Service laws and City policies. There is NOTHING good about stripping City control over hiring, promotions and discipline in the Fire Department and replacing them with the archaic and much lower standards contained within Civil Service. I am disgusted with the political assertions by the prop 2 campaign alleging that the AFD hires ,promotes and disciplines employees in an arbitrary, good ole boy manner or that as the "union" president asserts; "hiring and promotions should be made on WHAT you know and not who you know or WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE". As an African American woman, I can see no way to take that statement other than he doesn't like the way many new hires "look'...gender and/or skin color.
    I was thrilled to hear the Fire Chief state that "the AFD is not an exclusive club, but an inclusive organization". Without quality people at all levels in the department, how has the AFD achieved such prominence for their innovative practices and superior, cost efficient service delivery? I love our firefighters but Civil Service will not be good for them, the department or the community.
    VOTE NO to keep our Fire Department progressive, efficient and adaptive to the community needs.

  6. Thank you for being a knowledgeable citizen and caring about your community, and expressing eloquently your concerns on civil service. You and I were both very impressed with the Fire Chief's annual report. He is a nationally recognized leader in our community. But this is a union appeal to get overtime back for the firefighters. If it wasn't overtime it would be something else. For the last 5 yrs. the union president has been trying to get the Chief fired. The Council has asked for an audit and an independent survey to try and assuage the alleged concerns of the union. In both instances the Chief has been exonerated. This is truly the deeds of a militant, misguided union. Don't believe for a minute that he has the support of the majority of the firefighters.

  7. Here is the email remainder of the monthly meeting for Local 1329, notice the location - "Union Hall". Also, Its been referred to that for the 30 years I have been with the city...

    Reminder: The following event is scheduled for tomorrow

    Association Meeting
    Time: 8:00am - 10:00am

    Location: Union Hall

  8. So if I understand the firefighters they want the person who scores the highest grade on a written test to be promoted? If that is their claim then how do they explain a person who is ranked below a person who did not have the highest score but was moved up the list due to seniority points? Am I missing something? Or does this just benifit the senior guys and passes over a person demonstrated they knew more by a higher written score prior to seniority points being added?

  9. You are right. The promotional section of civil service does two things. 1. it reverts to a tenure based promotion instead of a written score. The 10 seniority points added to the written score benefits the older or more senior firefighter. 2. It takes the "oral interview" aspect completely out of the equation. Oral interviews are prohibited in the promotions section of Civil Service. Part 143.032 Para (B)
    I debated the Union President about the hiring concept of civil service. He stated that diversity would thrive under civil service, and that once civil service was passed we could negotiate the addition of physical ability and oral interviews back into the hiring process. 1. A written test will not in any way have anything to do with improving diversity. You would have to be an idiot to swallow that pill. 2. Why would I want to negotiate with the Union after they got what they wanted. You get what is in Part 143 and that is it. I'm not going to negotiate with the Union at all over anything. I am certainly not going to negotiate back to what we currently have. I really don't think the Union has thought this through very well, and it is selling a bill of goods to the firefighters that isn't going to happen.

  10. I find it odd (not really) that so much emphasis was put on education just 5 years ago by the association. So much so that it was a meet and confer item that they fought for and got a policy implemented that required a "higher standard" through education, but now they are advocating for a system with NO educational requirements for one that rewards tenure. One word - hypocrits.


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