RHWGX Responds to Eighth Monitoring Report and Rebuttal

On December 1, 2006, the Defendants (R5) filed their 8th Monitoring Report and issued a rebuttal to the Plaintiff's (RHWGX) motion to extend the Hispanic Resolution Agreement (HSA).

RHWGX Disagrees With The R5 Report

The RHWGX disagrees with the R5 report. While the group would like to give credit to R5 for the improvements that have occurred, those gestures have been misconstrued and taken advantage of.

The report claims R5 has met all the terms of the HSA and everything they have implemented is improving Hispanic representation in the R5 workforce. It is true R5 has built a bureaucracy, however, it only serves to implement a process and does not meet the intent of the HSA.

R5 states Hispanic representation has risen from 8.9% to 11% since the beginning of the HSA (2002) while claiming the workforce has declined by 14.7%. A 2.1% increase is nothing to brag about in a state that has over 11 million Hispanics. In addition, they don't say whether 14.7% decline includes vacant positions or positions that are actually eliminated.
R5 also states their selection rates of Hispanics are higher than the applicant rate of Hispanic applicants. This only reveals a poor performance in recruitment by stating only 16.7% of applicants were Hispanic in a state that is over 34% Hispanic.

RHWGX Disagrees With The R5 Rebuttal Position

R5 filed a rebuttal to the RHWG motion to extend the HSA for 2 years.

The RHWGX strongly disagrees with the R5 position and particularly with the R5 statement that the Court appointed Monitor is incompetent.

There is a theme presented by this rebuttal: since the defendant does not have a factual basis for arguing their defense they attack the agreement and discredit the Court Appointed Monitor.

R5 asserts that the Court Appointed Monitor is not competent as a lay witness and her reports should not have a bearing on this case. This is a harsh and desperate claim, considering the Monitor was selected with agreement of both sides and the Court. The Monitor has worked with both R5 management and forest employees, including RHWG Representatives and has based her report on objective observations. The Monitor's report substantiates RHWG's claims that R5 is not acting in good faith in many critical areas.
R5 needs to claim the Monitor is incompetent because she is a firsthand witness to activities in R5 and her reports affirm RHWG's claims. They cannot defend the Monitor's claims against them, so they attack the credibility of the position and the competence of the person in that position.
R5 also argues that because they have created a bureaucracy, they have met the terms of the HSA and the Plaintiffs have received the benefit of the HSA. The fact that R5 created an ineffective bureaucratic process and spent $3.5 million to get a gain of 2.1% in four years debunks that claim.
They also assert the terms of the agreement do not apply and attempt to redefine what the court has already ruled. As they did in the motion of contempt, R5 claims that terms of the HSA are unenforceable and therefore do not apply. This was rejected by the Judge previously, and nothing has changed to affect that.
R5 hired an expert witness who asserts the Civilian Labor Force (CLF) statistics used are wrong and that R5 has more than enough Hispanics in the GS-462 series. Because R5 will not meet the goals under the current CLF, R5 is now attempting to redefine the CLF categories. The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC), in the current political climate, has not helped this issue by creating numerous vague definitions that could be construed to dilute the labor pools.

Regional Hispanic Working Group Executive Committee

The Regional Hispanic Working Group Executive Committee (RHWGX) serves as a liaison between the Regional Hispanic Working Group (RHWG) and the Regional Forester, or his representative. This six-member committee is comprised of the Hispanic Class Agent; signatories of the Region's Hispanic Settlement Agreement (HSA) or the previous Hispanic Resolution Agreement (HRA); or are elected from the body of the region's Hispanic class members. The RHWGX provides general oversight of all RHWG activities and represents Hispanic-class issues and opportunities relevant to the implementation of the HSA.

Contact Information

Comments or feedback can be sent to hsafeedback@fshea.net.