Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn today announced that in order to recognize the service of U.S. veterans, and as a way to recruit talent into City government, the City will soon offer military veterans a waiver of the fee required to take a civil service test. Applicants can request a waiver at the time of submitting an exam application either online or by mail, and then mail in documentation supporting their request. Instructions will be available on the website of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, which will administer the program and launch it within the next few months.
The civil service exams most frequently taken by veterans are those for uniformed positions at the Police Department, Fire Department and Department of Corrections. The Mayor and Speaker made the announcement at a breakfast in honor of Veterans Day at Gracie Mansion where they were joined by Congressman Charles Rangel as well as veterans and service members including Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Terrance Holliday, CIA Director General David H. Petraeus, U.S. Navy Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, U.S. Army Command Sergeant Major Silvia P. Laughlin, U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Raymond R. Odierno, U.S. Air Force Assistant Vice Chief of Staff Lt. General Richard Y. Newton III and Vince McGowan President of the United War Veterans Council.
“This fee waiver is a small token of our appreciation for the dedicated men and women of our Armed Services,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “They have given so much to our country, and we would be lucky to have them serving our City.
“Waiving civil service exam fees is a small gesture we can make for military veterans,” said Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “I am pleased that the Council was able to reach this agreement with the Mayor to offer these waivers in recognition of veterans' service to our country. This Veterans Day, as we take time to appreciate and honor these brave men and women, this announcement shows veterans how much we respect their experience and their skill. We want them to be a part of our government.”
“The Department of Citywide Administrative Services is proud of our veterans’ dedication to serving our country. They are a huge asset to the City’s workforce. In partnership with MOVA, we are pleased to offer the opportunity for vets to waive a civil service exam fee of their choice,” said Edna Wells Handy, Commissioner of DCAS. “Coupled with the credits presently given to vets on exams for their service, we continue to build a world class workforce that provides world class service. The leadership abilities and skills possessed by many veterans will help us to get there.”
“The Citywide Administration Services Veterans Exam Fee Waiver is another way New York City is working to assist our veterans in their transition to civilian life,” said Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs Commissioner Terrance Holliday. “The waiver recognizes the sacrifices our veterans have made for our nation, and we hope that appreciation by New York City will be personally meaningful to every veteran taking an examination.”
“I want to thank the Mayor and the Department of Citywide Administrative Services for agreeing to waive the civil service exam fee for veterans, a decision that will encourage more veterans to apply for available jobs offered by the city,” said Council Member and Veterans Committee Chair Mathieu Eugene. “I believe this is also valuable way to show our appreciation and admiration for what veterans have done for our country. As a city, it is our obligation to help address the needs of veterans and make sure they are treated with the respect and honor they deserve.”
“This is an issue I first proposed in 2007, and have been working with Speaker Quinn and the administration to adopt,” Said Council Member Vincent Ignizio. “As you can imagine, I am extremely happy this is going to happen. It’s simply the right thing to do for our vets. For years the city has already given exemptions to certain people, and the fact is that we can do more for our veterans and active duty members. The City has always sought the most qualified, intelligent, diverse and strong young people for its workforce. Encouraging our vets to apply meets every one of those goals.”
“Veterans Across America is pleased that Mayor Bloomberg and The New York City Council’s commitment to our service members is consistent with our mission to end veteran poverty and advance the economic well-being by securing employment for our needy veterans –the wounded & disabled, financially destitute, impoverished and homeless,” said Kenneth Arroyo Roldan, Board Advisor of Veterans Across America. “It is imperative that our collective efforts replicate the successful post WWII experience for returning war veterans. Our Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have earned the nation’s respect and gratitude and it is our duty as New Yorkers to help them secure gainful employment when they return to the civilian sector.”
“The waiver is a great idea and a good start to getting veterans the assistance they need to get started in civil service,” said Pat Toro Jr., Vietnam Veterans of America, New York State Council Southern District Director. “A lot of veterans, as sad as it may sound, simply do not have the money to pay for exam fees when they wish to take Civil Service Exams. Hopefully this waiver will encourage more veterans to apply for these jobs.”
The fee waiver applies to one civil service exam application per veteran. Currently, many veterans receive civil service exam credit for their military service. By State Constitution and Law, veterans may use this credit once. This means that a veteran’s position on a civil service list is determined by their exam score, plus between 2.5 and 10 points in credit, depending on the exam and veteran’s status. For more information about the existing exam credit program, or other exam applications inquiries, go to www.nyc.gov or call 311.
Following the breakfast, the Mayor marched in this year’s Veterans Day Parade, which honors the New York City uniformed personnel and public servants who have served in the United States military, as well as the veterans community that provides assistance to the veterans of New York. The theme for this year’s parade is “Never Forget” and honors the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam Conflict and also those fallen in the attacks of September 11, 2011. Mayor Bloomberg also attended the Veterans Day wreath laying ceremony at the Eternal Light Monument in Madison Square Park, which commemorates the historic signing of the Armistice on November 11, 1918 that officially ended World War I. Mayor Bloomberg placed a wreath at the base of the monument, which was followed by a 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps. The ceremony honored veterans who gave their lives in support of the nation.