City of Houston moves to implement firefighter pay parity amendment

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What we reported
In the Nov. 6 election, Kingwood and city of Houston residents approved Proposition B, which grants Houston firefighters a salary increase to match that of Houston police officers. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the amendment could cost the city up to $100 million a year and result in layoffs of hundreds of city employees. At its Nov. 28 meeting, Houston City Council approved spending up to $500,000 on legal fees to determine the validity of the amendment in court. Two days later, the Houston Police Officers Union filed a lawsuit contesting the amendment, which led to a state district judge issuing a temporary restraining order to halt its implementation.

The latest
On Dec. 18, Harris County District Court Judge Randy Wilson dissolved the temporary restraining order, requiring the city to implement the pay raise. In a statement following the ruling, Turner said the city will begin implementing the pay raise as the case proceeds through the legal system. The timing of the implementation is unknown as of press time.

Amendment timeline

  • Nov. 6: Voters approve Proposition B, granting Houston firefighters a pay increase to match that of Houston police officers.
  • Nov. 28: Houston City Council adopts the pay-parity amendment to the city charter. At the same meeting, the city approves legal fees to determine the validity of the amendment.
  • Nov. 30: The Houston Police Officers Union files a lawsuit contesting the legality of the amendment. A judge temporarily halts the implementation of the amendment and sets a court date for Dec. 14.
  • Dec. 14: A judge hears arguments from the HPOU and Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association on the amendment.
  • Dec. 18: A judge ends the temporary restraining order and tells the city to implement the pay raise.
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Zac Ezzone
Zac Ezzone began his career as a journalist in northeast Ohio, where he freelanced for a statewide magazine and local newspaper. In April 2017, he moved from Ohio to Texas to join Community Impact Newspaper. He worked as a reporter for the Spring-Klein edition for more than a year before becoming the editor of the Lake Houston-Humble-Kingwood edition.
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