Mayor Sylvester Turner on Wednesday invited the Houston firefighters union to sit down with him to discuss “any ideas you have” about how to implement the pay parity measure passed by voters last November, but left it unclear whether negotiating pay raises through contract talks was an acceptable idea.
Union President Marty Lancton declined to say whether he would meet with the mayor, instead issuing a response saying the union would not participate in “stage-managed, taxpayer-funded public ‘stakeholder’ forums.”
“Proposition B is now law,” Lancton wrote. “The campaign is over, and it’s past time to implement the proposition.”
Wednesday’s exchange came a week after Turner announced that he would like to meet with the union and others to discuss ways to implement the pay raises mandated under Proposition B, an amendment to the city’s charter requiring firefighters be paid the same as police of equal rank and seniority.
Turner has said implementing the measure would cost the city $100 million a year and would require the layoffs of as many as 1,000 employees, including firefighters and police, as well as cuts in service.