Houston firefighters discuss Mayor Turner’s HFD budget

HOUSTON — Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association leadership and legal counsel held a press conference Monday morning.

The presser allowed firefighters to voice their opinions and to discuss impasse contingencies and the likely impact of Turner Administration’s forthcoming HFD budget cuts.

The fire department will be hugely affected by the cuts, which would also have an affect on public safety.

"Houston Firefighters no longer trust Mayor Sylvester Turner."

Those are strong words from Patrick M. Lancton, President of the Houston Professional Firefighters Association.

The fire department has been working without a contract for three years and according to union officials, the Mayor walked away from negotiations.

Both sides have been at the table since early March.

On day one, firefighters proposed a 21.3 percent pay raise to expand over three years. "We are one of the worst paid major city fire departments In the nation," Lancton said.

The proposal was rejected as part of the 2018 city budget.

With negotiations at an impasse, firefighters and city leaders are looking at mediation or arbitration. The city has five days to consider the options. Firefighters are still hoping the Mayor and his team will come back to the bargaining table.

"Although we do not believe they will do that in good faith, we intend to make that option available," said HPFFA's attorney,Troy Blakner.

These negotiations are a real hot topic, but right now the relationship between firefighters and the city seem to be ice cold.