Monday, May 21, 2018

Graham v MOA #11 - Oral Exams 4 - Jeff Graham Passes New Promotion Exam

Although Jeff Graham won his lawsuit over discrimination in his 2012 promotion exam with the Anchorage Fire Department, the Municipality told him he still had to take the promotion exam now before he would get promoted.

After 2012 he stopped taking the exam because he figured it was futile - they weren't going to promote him.  He'd heard rumors, but they weren't confirmed until he learned that another fire fighter had heard the head of the promotion training and testing in 2012 (and later) say to him and a couple of others at the promotion academy that "As long as I'm in charge of promotion, Jeff Graham will never promote."  He only got a name of someone who heard it directly during the second week of the trial.  But that person agreed to testify.

In any case, Jeff passed the written, practical, and oral portions of the exam this time and ended up number five on the promotion list, which is much longer than the list when he last took the exam.  But five is reasonably high and if the past is a good predictor, there should be at least five openings in the next two years.

So, he hasn't been promoted, but based on the past, I'm reasonably optimistic.

I'm still writing about the 2012 exam and there have been some changes in the exam recently, but from what I've seen, there are still egregious violations of how things should be done.  I'm not sure if Jeff passed because the whole trial experience has given him a better sense of how to prepare for the exam, because there were different people grading the exam, or the word went out to make sure he passes - particularly the oral part of the exam.  And I'm sure there are other possible explanations and that none of these are mutually exclusive.

It's a step forward for Jeff and his career.  But the oral exam is still overly subjective, the scoring sheets are still bizarre, and the training materials say things that really are in conflict with merit principles and evualating someone based on job related issues only.

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