HOUSTON – The Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association has accepted Tony Buzbee’s no-cost offer to mediate the city of Houston’s dispute with the firefighters.
Buzbee, a Houston attorney, is set to hold a press conference with President Patrick M. “Marty” Lancton on Monday.
Since 2011, the city of Houston has awarded 37 percent in raises to police compared to three percent for firefighters. The voter-approved passage of Proposition B requires the city to bring Houston firefighter pay in line with that of Houston police officers.
However, Mayor Sylvester Turner has refused to meet with firefighters regarding implementation of Proposition B and shortly after its passage, city council members approved a $500,000 contract to be paid to Turner’s former law firm to defend the city against litigation related to the pay parity charter amendment.
“Litigation is a waste of taxpayer dollars and if you think this dispute will only cost our city $500,000, I’ve got a bridge to sell you,” Buzbee said. “It’s time we equally value our police and fire first responders in Houston. I urge the mayor to make the most of this cost-free opportunity to mediate a solution that works for the city and for firefighter families.”
Lancton said: “For more than a year, we have asked the mayor to meet to resolve our differences. While he has refused, our offer to meet any place, any time, remains open. For that reason, Houston firefighters accept Tony Buzbee’s offer to help resolve our differences with the city.”