HOUSTON — The Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association and Mayor Sylvester Turner met for the first time in months Friday and now seem to be closer to a solution regarding Proposition B.
The union has been pushing for the city to implement the pay raises all at once and the mayor proposed a five-year plan phase-in plan. The newest plan they are considering is a compromise that will implement the raises in over the course of the next three and a half years.
Up until Friday's meeting, their negotiations have for the most part been public— through letters back and forth.
Following the face to face meeting, Marty Lancton, President of the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association gave Mayor Turner a prepared letter with the terms laid out of the new deal and union is considering.
In response, Turner released a statement saying the letter is not consistent with the prior discussions and accused Lancton of publicizing the letter ahead of the meeting.
The letter from the fire fighters association says they will consider the three and a half year deal if no layoffs or reduction of EMS services happen, if the phase-in of Prop B is ratified by a collective bargaining agreement and if they can have complete access to the city's financial and budget information.
The entire letter is below:
So far, the city has given 67 fire cadets and 47 municipal employees 60 day lay off notices.
Throughout this whole process, Councilman Dwight Boykins has been outspoken about the issue. He posted the following statement to Facebook over the weekend:
“We have 60 days to get this right. Layoffs should never be entertained when there are feasible alternatives to fund the voter’s mandate of equal pay for our police and firefighters,” Boykins said the post.
Lancton and Turner have agreed to meet again before the Houston City Council meeting Wednesday.