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Firefighters rally at Houston City Hall amid contract negotiations

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HOUSTON — Houston firefighters rallied outside the steps of City Wall Wednesday afternoon about negotiations regarding their contracts.

Houston officials and firefighters have been deadlocked while discussing the contract, which expires Friday.

Officials at the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association said the Houston City Council voted to use an ordinance to change wages, benefits and working conditions if negotiations fall through.

The group announced last month that negotiations were at an impasse.

Mayor Sylvester Turner released the following statement:

"The city offered to continue to work with the firefighters under the current agreement for another 30 days. They refused and instead decided to file a lawsuit. Today the city unanimously approved an ordinance that makes sure that our current operations with the firefighters continue. The lawsuit is regrettable because it is our preference to solve our challenges face-to- face and not in court. When the lawsuit is received, we will review it and respond appropriately."