Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association, mayor set date for court-ordered mediation

Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association President Marty Lancton and Mayor Sylvester Turner will re-enter court-ordered mediation Aug. 1.

Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association President Marty Lancton and Mayor Sylvester Turner will re-enter court-ordered mediation Aug. 1.

The Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner will re-enter court-ordered mediation Aug. 1 in an attempt at resolving the parties’ dispute over Proposition B, both parties confirmed July 17.

The voter-approved proposition, which mandates pay parity between Houston police officers and Houston firefighters, has been caught up in legal challenges since shortly after it passed in November 2018.

A state appeals court ordered both parties into mediation June 13 despite the fact that an earlier round of mediation, ordered by a separate judge, ended unsuccessfully in May.

The mediation will be led by Houston attorney Daryl Bristow, a mediator mutually agreed upon by both parties.

The city issued $17 million in back pay to Houston firefighters in May to comply with Proposition B. When the proposition was struck down as unconstitutional, the city did not rescind the pay. However, if the proposition is unsuccessful in appeals court, the city may have to rescind the pay. The status of the back pay will be a new factor in the upcoming negotiations, Turner said.

"The city has always said that the firefighters are deserving of a raise that the city can afford. We're looking forward to it. It's good for the city of Houston; it's good for the firefighters; it's good for everyone involved," he said. "... The firefighters are currently holding onto $17 million that was based on Proposition B that is no more. The city hasn't asked them to pay it back. We are not going to claw it back at this point in time. We've done everything we can to be understanding and to be sensitive, and so if a resolution can be had we welcome that."

HPFFA President Marty Lancton issued a statement following the announcement July 17.

"Houston firefighters remain open to working with the city, but so far the mayor has rejected every sensible offer—in court, in several rounds of mediation and in previous contract negotiations," the statement read. "We hope this latest mediation with Mr. Bristow changes the situation, but it's clear the mayor remains focused on punishing Houston firefighter families in defiance of the will of Houston voters."
By Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered public health, education and features for several Austin-area publications. A Boston native, she is a former student athlete and alumna of The University of Texas at Austin.


MOST RECENT

Free COVID-19 testing will be available to festival staff, participants and patrons every weekend of the festival this fall. (Courtesy Steven David Photography)
Texas Renaissance Festival to offer free COVID-19 rapid testing throughout season

Additionally, a free drive-thru testing site will be set up in Todd Mission on Sept. 19.

According to a Texas Supreme Court order, all eviction notices in the state must be accompanied with the CDC eviction order's declaration form. (Courtesy Pexel)
Texas Supreme Court issues order strengthening CDC eviction moratorium

The action aims to strengthen a federal order that renters' advocates say has been falling short in eviction court.

Lamar High School Houston ISD
Houston ISD opens school choice application window for 2021-22

Houston ISD is opening its school choice application window earlier than previous years but with an earlier deadline as well.

Endocrine and Diabetes Plus Clinic will celebrate its one-year anniversary in October. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)
Endocrine and Diabetes Plus Clinic to celebrate one-year anniversary in October

Endocrine and Diabetes Plus Clinic will soon celebrate its one-year anniversary

Dr. Sam Rolon is a physician for Baylor St. Luke's Medical Group Creekside Family Medicine in The Woodlands. (Courtesy St. Luke's Health)
Q&A: St. Luke's physician shares advice on flu season, vaccine and prevention

The influenza vaccine is recommended for nearly all patients of all ages ahead of this year's flu season, Dr. Sam Rolon said.

student in mask
TEA launches statewide COVID-19 dashboard for public schools

The Texas Education Agency, in collaboration with the Texas Department of State Health Services, has launched its latest COVID-19 dashboard for positive cases in Texas public schools.

Motorists can expect some delays on I-69 Southwest Freeway at I-610 West Loop from Sept. 18-21. (Courtesy TxDOT)
TxDOT: Weekend closure on I-69 Southwest Freeway at I-610 West Loop

Motorists can expect some delays on I-69 Southwest Freeway at I-610 West Loop from Sept. 18-21.

Francesca’s boutique clothing store is exploring “strategic initiatives” after the company announced 2020 second quarter net sales losses. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)
Bankruptcy a possibility as Francesca’s boutique chain explores ‘strategic initiatives’

Francesca’s boutique clothing store is exploring “strategic initiatives” after the company announced 2020 second quarter net sales losses.

Houston Police Department is joining Harris County's cite-and-release program. (Courtesy HTV)
Houston Police Department to join Harris County cite-and-release program

Houston Police Department is joining Harris County's cite-and-release program.

The Houston Food Bank is looking for more volunteers as it handles increased food distribution during COVID-19. (Courtesy Houston Food Bank)
Houston Food Bank: COVID-19 pandemic amplifies already-high food insecurity rates across region

Before COVID-19, the Houston Food Bank distributed about 400,000 pounds of food daily. That number has since increased to about 1 million pounds a day.

Gov. Greg Abbott said Sept. 17 that data from Texas' 22 hospital regions will dictate when certain businesses can reopen at 75% capacity. (Screenshot of Sept. 17 press conference)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott: Retail stores, restaurants, office buildings, gyms can reopen at 75% capacity as early as Sept. 21

Nursing home and long-term care facilities will also be allowed to reopen for visitation as early as Sept. 24.

Giant river otters will be featured in the upcoming Pantanal habitat, which is set to open Oct. 10. (Courtesy Houston Zoo)
Houston Zoo to open South America’s Pantanal on Oct. 10

Houston Zoo has announced the opening of its latest expansion project.