Chicopee could withdraw police and fire departments from state Civil Service system

Discussion in 'New England Area Law Enforcement' started by LGriffin, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. Delta784

    Delta784 Guest

    We have the option under our contract to take discipline/terminations to either CS or an arbitrator. CS is currently very pro-management, and has been for several years, so when I was union president, we took 2 termination cases to an arbitrator (different arbitrators) and won both of them. The supervisor's union took their one termination case to CS and lost.

    As it stands now, I'd prefer an arbitrator to CS, but I always want the CS option there, as things go in cycles, so we may soon go back to the days of "it takes an act of Congress for a CS police officer to stay fired".

    If anyone can get the arbitrator clause in their contract, do it. While it's not binding, judges almost never reverse an arbitrator's ruling, since they realize the value of arbitration in keeping cases out of the court room.
    USMCMP5811 likes this.
  2. OfficerObie59

    OfficerObie59 Public Trough Feeder

    I was actually hoping no one would answer me. I was willing to bet he had no clue civil service has any role after hiring officers.
  3. NorthshoreWannabe

    NorthshoreWannabe "Special" Speller Good Me

    The role is plays before hiring is great for people on the outside. I could be wrong (I tried to find the article either here or through Google and couldn't) but I believe that Tewksbury bypassed a few veterans a few years ago. They hired their old Chief's son and a nephew or someone of somebody on the Board of Education and Civil Service went back and forced them to hire the bypassed Veterans.

    Also, as I mentioned in my previous post, the new MACS system pools every candidate in the state together for each town that needs more than just their own residents.

    Do non-CS department unions protect against when someone is promoted over a better candidate or someone that scored higher because they are friends with the Board or Chief? (Not making a statement because I don't know either way, just asking a question.)
  4. OfficerObie59

    OfficerObie59 Public Trough Feeder

    Sems to me that would be largely dependent on whether the candidate's old position and promotable position are the same bargaining unit. I can't imagine a union would fight for someone to leave the union.
    NorthshoreWannabe likes this.
  5. Macop

    Macop Subscribing Member

    Ya, cause nepotism and favortism doesnt ever happen now. Its alive and well in CS departments. But no system is perfect. Yes CS is flawed. It could be revamped, my experience with the lateral process was abosultely disgustuing. I wanted to go to Boston and just yell at the morons working there. It took way too long and both depts were on board with the transfer. CS kept playing games and coming with reasons why it couldnt go through. Obviously the B.S will always be there as we all know nothing is perfect. But the way they do things, I think we can all agree is enough to drive a person mad.
  6. HistoryHound

    HistoryHound Supporting Member

    Never said it doesn't happen, but I've paid attention long enough to understand how things work. If you've got chiefs and politicians trying to play games like, oh let's say, passing over vets and going down the list until they get to Joe Blow's nephew knowing that they'll have a fight with CS for doing it; then, it's going to be that much worse for the average, unconnected person when you take CS out of the equation.

    Note: I'm not trying to say that everyone on a non-CS department doesn't deserve to be there or that everyone on a CS department deserves to be there. Just saying IMO an imperfect system is better than no system.
  7. j809

    j809 Subscribing Member

    You guys kill me with the nepotism argument. I work for a noncs town and everyone around is Also noncs and I can tell you I have been here 10 years and have not seen any of the pds including mine hire relatives friends etc. they do hire people that are trained have degrees and experience.
    Joel98 likes this.
  8. csauce777

    csauce777 Supporting Member

    Ok to play devils advocate here: Are all of the Civil Service fans here saying that Massachusetts, for the only time in history, does something better in its hiring of police officers compared to every other state in the country?

    Trust me, I get the argument about CS protections for officers, and nepotism, favoritism, etc. But if those factors were lessened like apparently everywhere else, would you still support the way civil service conducts hiring?
  9. j809

    j809 Subscribing Member

    The nepotism argument is so 70s. New ethic laws reforms and professionalism of the job has transformed it alot that these are no longer issues. Civil service only guarantees vets jobs. The protections once enjoyed are gone, I believe there are two people at CS for hearings and the decisions for years have been pro management. Even if cs says to reinstate someone they can appeal to superior court so there is no guarantee. Interestingly , can a CS officer appeal a written warning to CS? Not a suspension but a warning? Can they go to An arbitrator On a warning? Noncs you can do that and also there are just cause protections and all noncs are unionized with same union protecting CS PDs.
  10. NorthshoreWannabe

    NorthshoreWannabe "Special" Speller Good Me

    Again, I am only on the outside looking in at this time but nobody can say that the nepotism argument is so 70's. Here is someone that was bypassed and this was only about 2 years ago. If there is someone who is related to good friends of the chief/board of selectmen and it comes down to 2 very strong candidates for 1 position, you can honestly say you don't think there would be advantage over the relative of the connected person?

    From what I have read and I could be completely wrong, when you take a test for a non-CS town, you don't find out if you were bypassed or not chosen for someone who was connected. You don't find out any information at all because I don't believe any of the test scores or information is public knowledge? (Not sure either way but I'm sure someone here could correct me)
  11. j809

    j809 Subscribing Member

    If they don't want you it doesn't matter anyways. Even if you're civil service the strongest thing the commission can do is place you number one on the list. However when the list expires its worthless. After a new test you start over again so doesn't really matter. Now you say that they picked somebody less qualified than you.
    Tpd had lots of issues with last chief and that is civil circus
    Joel98 likes this.
  12. Delta784

    Delta784 Guest

    Nepotism is NOT so 70's, and I'm a poster child for the CS system.

    Back in 1990, I scored a 99% on the CS exam, I got veteran's preference during the Gulf War, I already had the full-time MCJTC academy, and I was employed as a permanent full-time police officer with the Boston Housing Authority. The only people higher on the Quincy list were a survivor who didn't sign the list, and a veteran with a 100%, so I ended up #2 on the list.

    The political machine needed to get to a non-veteran who was beyond politically connected that was just out of reach of the hiring numbers, so the machine ran their finger down the list, found someone with absolutely no political connections (me), and I suddenly developed high blood pressure, which I never had before, and haven't had since, and I was bypassed (the city's physician is now in prison for raping some patients, BTW).

    With a non-CS department, that would have been the end of it. I appealed to CS, and got a hearing date. I was examined by a hypertension specialist who teaches at Harvard Medical School, wore a 24-hour blood pressure monitor that showed I didn't have hypertension, and represented myself at the CS hearing. It was a unanimous 9-0 decision in my favor, and I was appointed 10 months after I was initially bypassed.

    So, don't you dare say that nepotism is "so 70's" and that CS has no use these days, because I'm living proof that CS works, in spite of its warts.
    cc3915 likes this.
  13. Macop

    Macop Subscribing Member

    Bottom line, having worked full time in both NON CS and CS Police Departments I think we all have made good points and were all right to a degree. Man this discussion would be fun over a few dozen beers and a pool table!
  14. SgtAndySipowicz

    SgtAndySipowicz Supporting Member

    There are valid arguments for both sides of this. I have worked for a non-CS agency out of state and a CS agency here in MA. The non-CS agency actually had an anti-nepotism policy in place. The Chief didn't answer to the Mayor, but rather a board of Police Commissioners (appointed by Governor). The Mayor had little, if any, input on how things were run (unlike where I am now where the Mayor is very powerful. Lateral transfers who are connected get jobs etc, bypassing the test). There was little, if any, politics there (getting hired). The agency expected you to be VERY proactive. The most proactive Officers would later be offered detective positions etc. Those who excelled as Officers and then det's etc would then be promoted to Sgt, usually after about 10 years on (very seasoned, cross trained in various bureaus). They cared first and foremost about performance (and yes numbers; cites, arrests etc). They put little importance on what degree you held (In fact the Chief when I left only had an Associates). That Chief, according to many there, was one of the best det's the dept ever had, a great "street Cop" in his day. He was respected by the patrolmen (he never forgot where he came from & would do ride alongs on last halfs, yes last halfs). More were "written up" at that job, for sure (than where I am now in MA). But if you sat back and looked who was being written up, it was the folks who fucked up a lot/were lazy/fucked up crime scenes etc etc.

    In MA EVERYTHING is political. I clearly see why many so strongly believe in CS. The longer you have on the more job security/better shift picks etc. Although I will say that I had a somewhat heated debate with another officer recently as to why I scratched my head sometimes, when certain people, somewhat lazy, bid (we have 1 year bids) on busy cars (areas where guys that want to be proactive can hit the jackpot/94C busts, guns etc). The other Officer said performace is "subjective". He strongly believes in seniority determining shift picks etc. He just didn't think performance was that important in determining who is assigned where. I just think performance can be measured, I would hope that our supervisors have enough matter in their brain to see who performs well versus who doesn't (maybe that's a stretch?). What's wrong with having the best get the best assignments? Does every officer perform equally well? Ahhh no, and we all know it.....

    CS does have it's advantages though. It is nice knowing that once you get out of the bottom of the barrel there is zero chance of being laid off etc. It is pretty hard to get yourself fired (in MA), and if you are fired you'll probably get your job back. I guess anyone of us could be jammed up for a variety of reasons. So again, the job security is nice. There are pro's and con's to the MA CS system as well as the way the rest of the country does things. I've worked under both systems.........
    Nightstalker likes this.
  15. Macop

    Macop Subscribing Member

    I dont see why the longer you have on the job means job security, once your off probation your off. But the rest id agree with.
  16. Bloodhound

    Bloodhound MassCops Member

    Great. Now I have to clean my large iced regular off the screen. I wish you knew how it is where I work (which IS CS). Without CS, we'd be totally screwed instead of just partially.
    Delta784 likes this.
  17. HistoryHound

    HistoryHound Supporting Member

    How does someone even seriously make that argument? Granted police officer performance is more complicated to determine than the performance of sales people, account reps, etc., but it can still be objectively determined. Maybe determining what weight different things carry is subjective, but overall performance (# of cites, # of arrests, quality of reports, etc.) is not. You all know who on your departments performs and who doesn't.

    Probably because lay offs are based on seniority. I know people who were told they were likely going to be laid off before they even got sworn in. It didn't happen, but for the next few years (until they put on more people) every time the city threatened layoffs they knew if it happened they would be the ones cut. My idiot neighbor got laid off from the fire department after something like 4 or 5 years because of seniority. Honestly if the city did layoffs again, I'd say lay him off because he's lazy and even more useless than tits on a bull, but he's got enough guys/gals under him now that he's not going anywhere.
  18. Macop

    Macop Subscribing Member

    True, true

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