Killing a Promotion Rumor
Promotions seem to be among the more hotly debated issues on the job today. People can argue about profiling, training, experience, but in our opinion, nothing comes close to the depth of feeling exhibited during a promotional process. And the most outspoken people of all are the one’s who aren’t even being promoted! Even the feds want to be involved in our promotional processes. Let’s address a rumor to start. We don’t think the city will be discontinuing promotional exams for detective, sergeant or lieutenant in the near future, the reasons are as follows:
- Contract issue. The city has negotiated with the respective unions to a 70/30% or an 80/20% rank score/merit process and it’s either written into the contracts or there are “Letters of Understanding” that dictate it as such. The city can’t just walk away from these agreements.
- Precedent. The city has done it this way for so long, it has become the norm. The union and the city can tweak the agreements as they stand, but a wholesale abandonment of the advancement process isn’t in the cards.
- FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY, the city would have to reveal the criteria necessary for officers to achieve a promotion. What would these be? They already dictate how much time and how much education you need. Now what? You must write (x) number of parkers/movers. You must process (x) number of DUI’s, have (x) number of felony pinches, have (x) number of court hours ... does anyone see where this is headed? QUOTAS. Merit based on an open and transparent set of numerical goals. It ain’t going to happen boys and girls.
- Bad things happen with political choices. Remember the county building fire? Merit fire lieutenant couldn’t make it up the stairs and turned back leaving 6 people to die in the smoke. As surely as god made little green apples, “merit” contributed to those peoples deaths.
- The political winds. Remember this thread? Barack Obama stated words to the effect that the people of Chicago deserved the most qualified employees the city could hire. Patrick Fitzgerald stated "Every resident of Chicago has the right to compete fairly for a better job if he or she is qualified, without regard to political affiliation or whether they do campaign work. [...] And the residents of Chicago are entitled to the best qualified laborers, plumbers, foremen and inspectors." (Emphasis added). Citizens aren't going to stand for it.