Mayor invites HFD union to discuss Prop B implementation

 Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner wants to discuss how to implement Proposition B.

On Wednesday, Turner sent a letter to the president of the Houston Professional Firefighters’ Association, inviting him to discuss how to implement Proposition B.

Turner wants to hold the meeting next week.

In November, voters passed Proposition B, which gives Houston Fire Department firefighters pay equal to that of Houston Police Department officers of the same rank.

In the past, Turner said the city couldn’t afford such a huge pay raise, but now he’s asking for a meeting with firefighters to listen to suggestions on how to pay for the costs without laying off city workers and reducing public services.

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The letter to Marty Lancton reads in part:

“The City had always wanted to give firefighters a generous raise. It offered the Union a total 9.5 percent base pay increase over three years. The Union rejected that offer and the voters have now passed Proposition B. Considering the financial constraints on the City arising from the revenue cap, pension costs and extraordinarily events like Hurricane Harvey, I invite you, and your team to sit down with me to discuss any ideas you have about how to implement the Proposition.

“I do not want to lay off any employees; and, I interpret some of the things you have said in public to acknowledge the the state of the City’s financial affairs. If the sacrifice of city services and city employees and their families in order to finance your pay increase can be avoided, I am open to consideration of your ideas.

“Please join me for a discussion of your thoughts and ideas on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. at City Hall. Please bring your team. I will be there to help you out in this public opportunity to find a solution.