Philadelphia’s decades-old civil service rule under scrutiny

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 City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown has launched the first step toward changing a civil service rule she says has stifled diversity among Philadelphia workers. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown has launched the first step toward changing a civil service rule she says has stifled diversity among Philadelphia workers. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

A Philadelphia City Councilwoman has introduced a resolution that could result in a change to the city’s hiring practices.

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown says the 64-year-old “rule of two” — which mandates only the top two scorers in the civil service test be considered for jobs — stifles diversity.

“Right now, the way it works is, no matter how many persons take the test, if you have 10 who score within the 90-to-99 group number, only the top two get considered,” she said.

Given Philadelphia’s diverse population, said Reynolds Brown, that’s important.

“The city is 82 percent women, minority, black, brown and other — and government simply does not look that way,” she  said.

She said her resolution will trigger a hearing.  The city charter would need a change to modify civil service rules.

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