Prop B: Court sends city and firefighters back to mediation before considering case

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The fight over Houston's Prop B is not going away any time soon.

The Texas 14th Court of Appeals ordered the City of Houston and the Houston firefighters union back to mediation.

Firefighters had asked court to consider the constitutionality of the voter-approved pay parity decision. The proposition means firefighters would have been paid the same as police officers of similar rank.

On May 15, a district court judge ruled Prop B unconstitutional. Firefighters immediately appealed, which has resulted in this move.

Early Thursday morning, a court ordered the city and firefighters to mediate within 60 days. A previous round of mediation failed.

If a settlement can be reached, the appeals court ordered both parties to drop their lawsuits over Prop B.

On Wednesday, Houston City Council voted to rescind the firefighter layoffs that were issued back in April. There's no immediate word what impact the latest ruling may have on those jobs.

Mayor Sylvester Turner released this statement Thursday:
Earlier today, the Fourteenth Court of Appeals referred the City of Houston, the Houston Police Officers Union (HPOU) and the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Union (HPFFA) to mediation in the Proposition B "pay parity" case, which a state district judge ruled unconstitutional.
Please attribute the following statement to Mayor Sylvester Turner.

"The parties met three different times in mediation with no success. While the most realistic course to move forward is to proceed with state authorized collective bargaining, which the firefighters requested from the legislature in 2005, the City of Houston will comply with the order to mediate."

For the latest investigations, follow Ted on Facebook and Twitter.

Have a tip for Ted Oberg? A problem to solve? Get in touch with us on our tip page, or send a tip below. (On mobile? You can open our form by tapping here.)

Prop B: Houston City Council votes to rescind firefighter layoffs
City of Houston sends layoff notices to 66 fire cadets
Mayor Turner says Prop B is cheaper, can be implemented faster, but union calls it short on detail and 'improper'
Mayor chides media for not asking union his Prop B questions
Firefighters hope Houston judge will implement Prop B pay raises immediately
Mayor re-proposes 5-year Prop B deal as council kills trash fee
Firefighter pay scuffle delays Houston City Council again
13 Investigates finds questions in city's Prop B offer
Houston mayor lays out plan for Prop B firefighter raises
Protest over firefighters stops business at Houston City Council
In fight for Prop B pay parity, clarity between mayor and union disappears

Mayor Turner writes open letter to Houston regarding Prop B
City of Houston filing seeks to invalidate Prop B pay parity for firefighters
'You're pushing it, so be careful' War of words at Houston council over Prop B
Houston's trained heroes are stuck chopping wood, pouring concrete
Fire union to Turner: It's past time to implement Prop B
Prop B implementation has mayor sparring with fire union
After judge's decision, city's Prop B planning remains stalled
Judge denies police and city's request to delay implementation of Prop B
14-day hold granted on Prop B implementation in Houston
Council narrowly agrees on law firm to defend against Prop B
Campaign against firefighter pay parity raises nearly $1 million
Campaign against fire 'parity pay' funded by mayor, police union, reports show
Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.