Houston City Council unanimously approves putting firefighter pay parity on November ballot

HOUSTON — The Houston City Council voted unanimously to put the issue of pay parity for city firefighters and police officers on the November ballot.

That means firefighters could make the same pay as police officers.

"All firefighters have asked for is what's fair and to follow the process," Houston Professional Firefighters Association President Marty Lancton announced earlier this week. "Firefighters go out there everyday, put their lives on the line."

The move comes as a victory for the HPFFA since they have been pressing to let the voters decide whether they deserve a pay raise-- even delivering a petition to City Hall.

"Over 60,000 people signed this saying that they want to weigh in," Lancton explained.

"Democracy dies in the dark. Alright, we just brought this issue to light," HPFFA Vice President Gregory Politte told NewsFix. "And that being said, it does get emotional because it's emotional for us."

But not everyone is celebrating.

The mayor has been totally opposed to the pay parity issue claiming it would cost the city some $300 million over three years.

"It will put us in deep financial trouble," Mayor Sylvester Turner declared during Wednesday's City Council meeting. "Now, this is not about being anti-firefighters. This is about the financial stability of this city."

This showdown is far from over, though.

Now a campaign for both sides of the issue begins.

But what will happen if voters ultimately reject the pay increase for local firefighters?

"Whatever people's opinions are, we respect," Lancton vowed.

"We are servants of the city, alright. Let them decide," Politte said. "Let the chips fall where they may."

And now those chips will fall— one way or another— on Nov. 6!