Recently, an Associated Press piece came out that mis-characterized the current and ongoing FDNY lawsuit, requiring that the record be corrected.
On Monday, August 1st, an article entitled “FDNY Needs Monitoring of Hiring Practices” appeared throughout the country via Colleen Long of the AP.
The article, Lawyers: FDNY Needs Monitoring of Hiring Practices, by Colleen Long of the Associated Press can be found at; http://www.wthr.com/story/15187522/lawyers-fdny-needs-monitoring-of-hiring-practices reads in part, The Fire Department of New York must be monitored as it works to change its hiring practices after a federal judge ruled the nation's largest department discriminated against minorities, lawyers argued Monday.
Well, that charge is demonstrably wrong, as New York City’s ENTIRE Municipal workforce is ethnically imbalanced.
It’s New York City’s ENTIRE Workforce That Needs Monitoring!
Note that the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) attorneys, representing the Vulcan Society’s leadership has never singled out the FDNY as “the only New York City agency that DOESN’T LOOK LIKE New York.”
The reason they haven’t is because NONE of New York City’s Municipal agencies look much like New York City at all.
Given that non-Latino blacks comprise 23% of New York City’s population and 36% of its Municipal workforce, we can quickly surmise that New York City and its Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) are not at all “racist,” at least not “anti-black,” otherwise, how would blacks be the most over-represented ethnicity in the New York City workforce?
So, the issue is NOT race or racism, it’s demographics or ethnic equilibrium. In short, it’s, “Why doesn’t New York City’s Workforce look more like New York City?”
Now, IF, as the CCR, claims, “New York City’s workforce must look like New York City,” then the entire Municipal workforce must be reviewed and held to account.
The case against the FDNY IS, in fact an indictment of EVERY New York City agency, as a recent City Limits article noted, the FDNY is not the only and hardly the worst offender in terms of ethnic imbalance!
According to a recent City Limits article, “The Census Bureau, which treats race and Latino origin separately (meaning Latinos can be of any race), estimates that New York City is about 35 percent non-Latino white, 28 percent Latino, 23 percent non-Latino black and 12 percent non-Latino Asian.”
The current composition of New York City’s workforce is 38 percent white, 36 percent black, 18 percent Latino and 6 percent Asian, according to statistics from the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, which, unlike the Census, DOES consider race and Latino origin to be mutually exclusive.
So the municipal workforce is slightly skewed toward whites (38% of workforce/35% of population or +3% or appx. 9% over-represented) and significantly skewed toward blacks (36% of workforce/23% of population or +13% or appx. 54% over-represented)!
Latinos and Asians are substantially under-represented.
However, several departments deviate substantially from these overall numbers. The Fire Department is 77 percent white. Several smaller departments (the Landmarks Commission, Office of Emergency Management, Civilian Complaint Review Board and Office of the Mayor) are also more than 50 percent white.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Department of Juvenile Justice is 78 percent black. The Equal Employment Practices Commission is 63 percent black and the larger agencies of Human Resources, Correction and Children's Services are all more than 60 percent black. Latinos and Asians, however, remain under-represented at most of these.
The New York City Board of Education is 85% female.
To adequately address the charge facing Judge Garaufis, the entire City workforce will have to be “scrutinized and adjusted.” It must be noted that just as the fact that “not many candidates from other groups were taking the FDNY Exams,” the same charge is equally true for all these other City agencies as well. Even when outreach and recruitment efforts have failed, “other remedies” have been required of the FDNY. Not so, for New York City’s other, even more unbalanced and less diverse agencies! According to the stand taken by the FDNY Vulcan Society and the CCR, since New York City’s entire workforce is grossly racially/ethnically imbalanced, then a massive citywide reorganization is in order.
This, of course, is NOT what Merit Matters supports.
We believe that people apply for and gravitate to those jobs they have an affinity for, BUT a court order that would mandate that the FDNY, as a New York City agency, must “look like New York City,” then it’s clear that that order stands for every other New York City agency as well.
We agree with the findings in City Limits that while black New Yorkers are heavily over-represented in New York City’s workforce and white New Yorkers slightly over-represented, both Asians and Hispanics remain significantly under-represented, but we’d prefer that the inevitable changes occur organically, rather than by lowering standards. Why use an axe, when a scalpel is what’s most needed.