You don’t see this often: Firefighters willing to turn down a promotion and the $18,000-per-year pay raise that goes with it.
That’s the story from DNAInfo.com’s Mark Konkol, who reports some Latino firefighters in the Chicago Fire Department, uncomfortable about being pushed ahead of others on the promotion list, turned down the offer and said they would rather wait their turn. According to the article, the Chicago Fire Department wouldn’t take no for an answer. The firefighters and IAFF Local 2 tell Konkol that CFD officials eventually ordered them to take the promotion or be taken off the list.
Last month, the union filed a grievance claiming “’minorities’ are being harassed and intimidated by the personnel department officers and exempt rank personnel” by being ordered to sign papers acknowledging they refused affirmative-action promotions. They also said they’ve been told after three refusals they will be removed from the promotion list.
The formal complaint — which asked the department to “inform all members who signed refusal papers (not in rank order) they do not count against them” — was denied, and the matter is headed to arbitration.
Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said the Latino firefighters shouldn’t feel any stigma about taking a so-called “out-of-rank” promotion because doing so is “good for the department.”