HOUSTON- A district court judge has ruled Proposition B unconstitutional. That's the latest in the monthslong dispute over pay raises for Houston firefighters.
This means the layoff notices that the 220 firefighters and 47 city employees received will be rescinded. They will be able to keep their jobs. It also means the 67 fire cadets will be re-instated and there will be no need for demotion within the department.
It comes as no surprise that Mayor Turner and the president of the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association are at odds over this ruling.
Mayor Turner sees the ruling as a positive. He said it will give everyone a chance to reset and work toward a viable solution.
“What I can say to you at this moment is that it was a ruling that was a tremendous positive ruling for the city as a whole, for Houston,” Turner said.
The mayor went on to say he looks forward to working with the union on raises that Houston can afford.
“They are deserving of a pay raise that the city can afford and I do look forward to sitting down and talking with them about what would be an acceptable pay raise within the confines of the city’s financial capability."
On the other hand, Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association President Marty Lancton said the ruling comes as a disappointment to the association, but they are not planning on backing down.
“The firefighters in Houston will be here for the citizens, that is who we work for and that is who we will continue to respond to and this mayor will have to be held accountable for what he has done and what he continues to try to do because we will stand on the side of democracy every day.”
Shortly after the ruling came down, Lancton said they will appeal the judge's decision.
“Four thousand firefighters and their families and three hundred thousand voters I would say are disappointed," Lancton said. "We have now had one district court judge that has ruled that it is constitutional. We now have a district court judge that has ruled it is not constitutional, so we definitely will be appealing.”