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Is there a city/firefighters agreement in the works?

They’re talking, for whatever it’s worth.

Officials from the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association said Friday they would seek union members’ approval of a 3.5-year phase-in of Proposition B if the city meets certain conditions.

After meeting with the union to discuss the terms, however, Mayor Sylvester Turner released a statement saying the provisions were “not consistent” with discussions held at the meeting.

Union president Marty Lancton said he had in fact laid out the union’s terms to the mayor, which include a guarantee that no firefighters will receive layoffs “before, during or after implementation of Proposition B.”

“We said it implicitly and explicitly,” Lancton said.

The mayor acknowledged the union delivered a copy of the letter, but accused Lancton of publicizing it before the meeting. Lancton also said this was untrue.

Aside from the no-layoff guarantee, union officials said any phase-in agreement would have to be ratified through a collective bargaining agreement.

Lancton also said Turner’s administration must provide the firefighters with “complete access to city financial and budget information” and implement “complete parity,” including base and incentive pay, with Houston police officers.

The two sides were scheduled to meet again next week before Houston City Council considers a measure at its Wednesday meeting that would authorize 220 firefighter layoffs.

See here for the latest update. I mean, maybe they’ll hammer something out and maybe they won’t. Deadlines have a way of focusing the mind, especially when layoffs are on the other side. I’ll reserve judgment about what may or may not be involved until there’s a resolution, but I will say this: Very early on in this process, Mayor Turner’s position was that Prop B had to be implemented all at once, there was no legal path to negotiating a phase-in. Everyone seems to have forgotten about that, which in and of itself doesn’t bother me too much since I like the idea of phasing it in regardless. But if this is true, then all it will take is someone filing a lawsuit to screw this all up. Let’s worry about that another day, as it’s not a thing until and unless a phase-in deal is ratified. There’s plenty of trouble here already without borrowing more.

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3 Comments

  1. David Fagan says:

    Did someone say “supply and demand”?

    “Other cities looking to hire HFD’s laid-off cadets”- KHOU

    Is Houston the training facility for the rest of the state/country at this time?

  2. James says:

    The firefighters offered to phase in the raise over 3 yrs in December. The Mayor, as you said, declined the offer. Now a few months later he reintroduces the same proposal firefighters offered. In my opinion the mayor is trying to make himself look like the “savior” of Houston by presenting the same offer. Then when he begins his re-election bid he can bring this up as his idea.

    I don’t think they agree on a deal because the mayor has continually refused to open the books in the past. About 3weeks ago several council members asked Turner to show them where he was getting his numbers from and he again refused. They got into a big fight because one of the council members didn’t call Turner “Mayor Turner”.

    The union was right in publicizing what they’re asking from the mayor so he can’t deny or claim that firefighters weren’t willing to negotiate as he has done in the past.

  3. David Fagan says:

    “Other cities looking to hire HFD’s laid-off cadets”- KHOU

    Ummmmmm supply and demand? No takers? No takers? There’s a demand, they pay more for the cadets that Houston supplies, the pay should go up? Anyone? Anyone? It’s this Mic on?