Past presidents of the Firebird Society of Bridgeport have signed a commentary written by retired firefighter Donald Day denouncing a city decision to extend conditional offers of employment to about 30 names on the list of an expired Civil Service exam. Day is joined by other fellow past presidents Ron Mackey, Joel Christy and George Bryant. Unclear how many will actually be hired based on budgetary allowances and retirements.
It has come to my attention that the City of Bridgeport Civil Service has decided to extend the expired Civil Service exam for firefighters for an additional six months after its expiration date. There were thirty letters sent to candidates on the expired list for twelve positions and of those thirty individuals only five are Bridgeport residents. How is it in the best interest of the residents of Bridgeport when five city residents are competing against twenty five out of towners for well-paying jobs in Bridgeport? Of those thirty individuals only three are Black, five are Latino and 21 are White males.
In fact for the 11th consecutive year there are NO WOMEN represented in those that received letters of participation. A top step firefighters makes $69,014 a year prior to working one minute of overtime and if by chance all five of the Bridgeport residents are hired, the city will still be sending $483,098 per year to the suburbs to uplift their communities. Should all twelve positions go the suburbs then $828,168 would leave the city each year and that figure doesn’t include OT or fringe benefits. This is an affront to all that is decent and moral.
It is said that Local 834 of the BFD union came to the city and asked that said list be extended and without question they obliged their request. Why would Local 834 ask to extend this list when no new hire can join the union until they pass four months of training at the State Fire Academy? The only reason for the union to request is so that their children, family and friends who also live outside of the city CAN BECOME FIREFIGHTERS TO THE DETRIMENT OF BRIDGEPORT RESIDENTS! Having said that, I firmly believe that again, this is the work of that dastardly David Dunn whose agenda since he was appointed, [without an exam or any experience,] as Civil Service Director is to rid the department of Women and Blacks. To that end he has been extremely successful. This is also a violation of the City Charter which says entry level and promotional exams are to expire after two years.
Bridgeport why are you standing by when great paying jobs are being sent to the suburbs by people that don’t live in Bridgeport like David Dunn, who in fact lives in the suburbs. Women why aren’t you calling the office of Mayor Joe Ganim to excoriate him about extending this list that don’t have any women representation when in the last two years women of the BFD has gotten two promotions to the rank of Pumper Engineer, one to the rank of Lieutenant, one for the Fire Marshal and two received commendations for heroism? Women have proven that they deserve to be on this job as firefighters and they were fairly represented prior to David Dunn being given the Civil Service position. Blacks why aren’t you calling to excoriate Mayor Ganim on extending this list when at best only three Blacks have an opportunity to compete for one of those twelve opening against 21 white males for jobs in your city?
Councilman (Ernie) Newton, you should be outraged and appalled that David Dunn, Local 834 and/or Mayor Ganim would try to backdoor your Resolution or Ordinance that would preserve Public Safety jobs like the Police and Fire Departments for Bridgeport residents. This appears to be a deliberate attempt to sidetrack your best efforts to the detriment of City residents. Bridgeport stand up and tell David Dunn, Local 834 and Mayor Joe Ganim, HELL NO leave that dead list alone and start fresh to give more Women, more Blacks and more importantly, more Bridgeport residents an opportunity for these well-paying jobs in the city where they were raised, where they live and where they were educated and to HELL with the suburbs.