A Letter to Governor Baker in response for not accepting recent police promotional exams
To Hon. Gov. Baker:
As you know, the Commonwealth’s Human Resources Division this week notified police officers statewide that it will not score their recent promotional exams, nor will it move forward with upcoming scheduled promotional exams. This is unacceptable. As you surely know, police agencies across our Commonwealth are currently in a staffing crisis – with officers and supervisors dealing with daily forced overtime and shift shortages. This latest state level decision exacerbates this crisis and will further erode the already critically low morale of police officers, given recent state-imposed changes to their working conditions. On behalf of NEPBA’s members, I write to implore you to take swift action to mitigate the impact of this very damaging HRD directive.
The NEPBA represents police and support personnel in more than 120 bargaining units
across our State. Our members who are affected by this latest HRD action span the Commonwealth – they are from both large and small departments in Western, Central and Eastern Massachusetts Police Departments, all the way to the tip of Cape Cod. They are law enforcement working for our UMASS system and Boston School system protecting our students and university communities. Our locals represent the best of Massachusetts ‘working families. I write to you on behalf of these members, and on behalf of those working families.
The HRD decision, which effectively throws into the trash heap the countless hours and thousands of dollars spent preparing for the State mandated
promotional exams, impacts officers of all racial backgrounds, and officers with diverse national origins. Officers from all such backgrounds are impacted by the HRD decision to ignore their hard work. Refunding a test fee will not make up for that loss. The Tatum decision ruled that the Commonwealth was very aware of its actions – and given that knowledge, the Commonwealth, at a minimum, should create a fund to reimburse all officers for money spent on preparation courses, study aids, etc. Not allowing for these consequential damages will only serve to cause further damage to qualified officers of all national backgrounds who studied to be successful on the Commonwealth’s required examinations. This, of course, pales in comparison to the loss of the promotional opportunity but would at least be a good faith effort should you not direct that the recently completed exams be scored.
The NEPBA objects to the “sledgehammer” solution of wiping out an entire test, already completed, which even the Court acknowledged will produce qualified candidates. We urge you to reconsider that decision, and explore ways to use a targeted, “scalpel” approach that will not add to the officers’ existing perceptions that our state leadership simply does not care about them. We demand you take action to reinstate and score the recently concluded exam, and if not, to at least compensate the officer for their exam related expenses. The priceless time away from their families , as is often the case with police officers, is surely something that they will never get back.