Houston Firefighters to Get First Pay Parity Raises

May 6, 2019
This week's checks for Houston firefighters will include pay hikes from Proposition B. The increases come after an impasse was declared between the city and the fire union.

Houston firefighters will receive their first pay checks that include raises from a voter-approved pay parity amendment a week after a mediator declared an impasse between the mayor's office and the city's firefighters union.

The salary increases come in the wake of about 220 firefighters who were laid off in order to implement Proposition B, which requires firefighters to receive the same pay as police officers, KHOU-TV reports. Hundreds of other firefighters also were demoted by the move, and the city laid off more than 100 fire cadets and city employees in order to implement the pay hikes that officials have estimated will cost $80 million annually.


Last month, a state district judge ordered non-binding mediation between the city and its firefighters union, so both parties could negotiate and agree on how to phase in the pay raises. But Friday, the judge-appointed mediator declared an impasse between both sides, the Houston Chronicle reports.

The union had said in a statement that it agreed to phase in the raises over four years if the increases began immediately and no firefighters were laid off. Originally, a three-year phase-in with no layoffs or demotions had originally been requested by the union, while the city had asked for a five-year phase-in.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the city agreed to phase in the pay raises over three-and-a-half years, but the union rejected that proposal. According to the union, the city had required that Prop B be rescinded declared unconstitutional, the Chronicle reports.