The State Personnel Board (“SPB”) denied CAL FIRE’s request at its monthly meeting on Thursday to abolish the entire 2017 Battalion Chief eligible list and force the nearly 300 candidates on the list to re-take the promotional exam during the peak fire season. The SPB also upheld the six appointments that had already been made off the list to the Battalion Chief classification and voided the termination of a seventh Battalion Chief’s limited term appointment. The SPB’s actions came after allegations that one candidate may have improperly received test information. During the month that followed CAL FIRE’s announcement of its intent to abolish the list, CAL FIRE Local 2881 engaged in an “all-hands-on-deck” effort to uphold the appointments and the list, in light of the fact that CAL FIRE admitted there was no evidence of any other even potential irregularities in the exam. The campaign was spearheaded by Local 2881 President Mike Lopez and State Rank and File Director Tim Edwards, union counsel Gary Messing and Lina Balciunas Cockrell of Messing Adam & Jasmine LLP and the union’s lobbyists, Aaron Read and Terry McHale of Aaron Read and Associates. Efforts included a direct appeal to the Governor, a written brief to the SPB, impact statements from the Battalion Chief appointees and list candidates and testimony at the SPB hearing. Needless to say, we are thrilled with the results and proud to have been part of the united front. For more information, click here.
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