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Stamford Firefighters Union Expresses Hiring Concerns

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STAMFORD, Conn. -- The Stamford Professional Fire Fighters Association recently expressed serious concerns in a letter to the City of Stamford Personnel Commission about a "disturbing pattern of behind-the-scenes actions, a lack of transparency and government actions contrary to the requirements of the City Charter."

The appointed City of Stamford Personnel Commission decided June 25 to change the Classified Service Rules for the city. This meeting was held without any public notice and without a public hearing, even though city regulations mandate both actions, according to a press release by the firefighters union. Notification occurred only after the meeting was held and after the commission already changed the rules, the union said in a press release.

In June 2014, the city hired eight firefighters as full-time municipal workers in advance of issuing a December 2014 civil service exam for the rank of firefighter, as mandated by the terms of a federal grant to hire 24 new firefighters, without even administering a baseline written test, according to a press release by the firefighters union.

After the city determined the December exam -- taken by 753 candidates -- was considered discriminatory to minority firefighter candidates, it rushed to issue a new exam at a cost of $151,000, according to a press release by the firefighters union.

The city’s second exam was in May and attracted 436 candidates. The city’s human resources department failed to notify some of the May candidates of the new test date, according to a press release by the firefighters union.

The changes enacted by the commission at the June meeting effectively eliminated 100 more candidates from the firefighter selection process.

The union’s letter asks the chairman of the personnel commission to immediately rescind the June 25 decision.

“Stamford government should operate in an open and transparent fashion and in compliance with the City Charter, not behind closed doors with no public input or discussion,” said Brendan Keatley, president of the Stamford Professional Fire Fighters Association.

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