ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The Arlington firefighters union says it isn’t backing down from its disagreement with the city, saying morale is at rock-bottom levels and low staffing is putting firefighters at risk.
The Arlington Professional Fire Fighters released an independent survey showing morale is below a two on a ten-point scale.
More than 90 percent of the firefighters are complaining about unfair disciplinary standards.
The changes come after a referendum Arlington voters approved last year, even though the city was against it.
In a news release the firefighters union said:
The City of Arlington’s continuing refusal to fully adopt voter approved civil service for firefighters and an autocratic, retaliatory fire department management style have eroded confidence in the department, according to the Arlington Professional Fire Fighters.
The City of Arlington released a statement on the matter Wednesday evening.
“Since May 2017, the City of Arlington has been diligently implementing the State Civil Service Law that provides certain procedures for hiring, promoting and disciplining firefighters. The City completed the full implementation of the Civil Service statute in October 2017. APFF has sued the City of Arlington, the Civic Service Commission and the Fire Chief regarding the specifics of the statute’s implementation. As a result, the City has limited comment as this matter is subject to litigation.
Our residents are well served by our nationally recognized Fire Department including an ISO 1 Rating and accreditations from the Emergency Management Assessment Program (EMAP) and the Combined Association of Law Enforcement Agency Dispatch Center. City investment in Fire Department personnel, equipment and facilities is at an all-time high, while investment in firefighter overtime is at a record low. Resource levels and operational standards have been reviewed multiple times by third party consulting firms and internal auditors over many years and have been found to be consistent with national standards and very cost-effective to taxpayers.”