Firefighters hope Houston judge will implement Prop B pay raises immediately

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston firefighters asked a judge late Thursday to end legal battles over Prop B, the voter approved initiative to increase firefighters' pay to equal police officers.

Mayor Sylvester Turner, however, is not having it. This is the latest in the back and forth battle over the vote from last November.

The mayor's office and the firefighters union have been trading offers, but time is running out.

RELATED: Mayor re-proposes 5-year Prop B deal as council kills trash fee

Mayor Turner says nearly 400 firefighters will be laid off to pay for voter approved raises.

Firefighters asked a judge to rule in their favor and implement pay raises right away. The city asked for a similar ruling in its favor a few weeks ago.

Late Thursday, the mayor said this is a sign the union has no intention of negotiating anything.

Both sides publicly said they're willing to talk, but nothing has been scheduled.

Mayor Turner released this statement Thursday night:
"The City is in the process of implementing Prop B with checks scheduled to be issued in May in order to balance the budget by the end of June. The implementation of Prop B will force layoffs and a reduction of services.

To avoid any layoffs, the City proposed to the fire union to phase in the cost of Prop B over five years. After saying, as late as last night, they would consider phasing-in the cost of Prop B over four years, today the union filed its motion for summary judgment demanding full payment immediately.

The motion for summary judgment filed today by the firefighters' union makes it clear the union has no intention of, and had no intention of, negotiating anything. It is demanding payment regardless of the consequences on municipal employees, less senior firefighters and the City as a whole. That is unfortunate.

Please bear in mind, Prop B came with no funding source and the City is honoring the will of the voters."


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