Latest round of Prop. B mediation between Houston firefighters union and mayor ends without agreement

An appeals court ordered Houston Professional Firefigthers Association and The Houston Police Officers Union along with the City of Houston to enter mediation over Proposition B dispute.

An appeals court ordered Houston Professional Firefigthers Association and The Houston Police Officers Union along with the City of Houston to enter mediation over Proposition B dispute.

The Houston Professional Firefighters Association and Mayor Sylvester Turner are no closer to an agreement about pay raises after five hours of talks ended unsuccessfully again Aug. 1.

Mediation over the voter-approved Proposition B, which mandates pay parity between Houston police officers and Houston firefighters, has been caught up in legal challenges since it passed in November 2018.

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

While few details about the mediation can be made publicly available, HPFFA president Marty Lancton said he felt the negotiations ended prematurely.

"It was clear to me that this mayor was motivated by politics rather than actually getting a resolution," he said.

Prior to the mediation however, Turner said he was optimistic about the talks.

"I've always said the firefighters are deserving of a pay raise that the city can afford," Turner told reporters July 31."I always hope for a positive outcome."

The case now awaits ruling from Texas' 14th Court of Appeals.
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By Emma Whalen

Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered health care and public education in Austin.


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