You have to wonder...I mean despite all their over-the-top rhetoric equating Michael Bloomberg to George Wallace, their lawsuit is giving the Bloomberg administration the biggest two-pronged economic boom it could ever have wished for!
The hiring freeze makes the closing of Fire Companies a virtual certainty due to the increasing under-staffing, while the skyrocketing overtime numbers will, no doubt be used to fuel the coming hard push for “serious and drastic pension reform.”
What of their charge that “It’s the Bloomberg Administration’s fault for fighting the Vulcan Society to begin with”?
What of it?!
The fact is that they deliberately locked the Bloomberg administration into that fight by charging the current Mayor with “deliberate discrimination,” a laughable charge given that non-Latino blacks are the most OVER-represented ethnic group in the New York City workforce (23% of NYC’s population and 36% of its Municipal workforce).
Without that one single charge, it’s doubtful the Bloomberg administration would’ve ever been in court. After all, their fight, unlike Merit Matters isn’t about standards, it’s about clearing the administration’s name from that scurrilous charge.
But that bridge has been crossed, those die have been cast, we are where we are and there’s no way to avoid giving this administration more than enough ammunition and justification for significant firehouse closings and serious, if not draconian pension reforms.
Some have speculated that the FDNY’s under-staffing will only be extended and exacerbated by the coming “new exam" (Exam #2000), which initial reports claim requires disciplined note taking and sound reasoning skills. If that’s true, speculation is that it will render a far LESS diverse result than did Exam 6019 (a/k/a “the opinion survey”).
If that speculation turns out to be even remotely true, then the under-staffing will almost certainly extend out possibly for another 3 to 5 years.
Should that happen, attrition will almost certainly make it impossible for the FDNY to staff its existing compliment of firehouses around the city, virtually assuring a significant number of closings.
Before that happens, the skyrocketing overtime in the field will boost the pensions of retiring members to unprecedented levels, fueling the cry for massive and systemic pension reform.
Already a public, in which defined benefits pensions are almost nonexistent, is supportive of major pension reform by something like 70% to 30%!
Whether anything the Vulcan Society does attracts more minorities to the ranks of the FDNY, it will almost certainly change this job – reducing the number of firehouses (and jobs) and decreasing the compensation for all future workers (via the coming pension reforms).
Those are two very good reasons the Bloomberg Administration should, at the least, put the Vulcan Society and the CCR on its Christmas card list!