The proposal by the FDNY to bypass civil service testing and procedures in order to create a new class of firefighter might be well-intentioned, but it has potentially dangerous unintended consequences. The civil service system is in place to ensure an objective analysis of a person’s qualifications and to make sure hiring in the public sector is based on merit and fitness, not bias or favoritism based on politics. Given the dangerous nature of firefighting, completely bypassing the civil service system will place individuals in hazardous situations they are unprepared for, putting themselves and the general public in danger. Moreover this proposal removes important safeguards that ensure fairness in the hiring process and instead gives total discretion over hiring decisions to political appointees.
The labor movement continues to be unmatched in its support of increasing workforce diversity and the NY State AFL-CIO will work with the Uniformed Firefighters Association, the NY City Central Labor Council and the city to better achieve its diversity goals.