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Mediation fails again

Not really a surprise.

A third round of mediation between Mayor Sylvester Turner and the Houston firefighters union concluded in an apparent impasse Thursday afternoon, ending another attempt to resolve the long-running contract dispute and sending a lawsuit over the matter back to a state appellate court.

The mediation session, ordered by Texas’ 14th Court of Appeals, ended around 2 p.m. at the office of the Baker Botts law firm. After leaving the meeting, Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association President Marty Lancton said city officials “walked” and “absolutely decided they were not going to continue” the session.

“It was crystal clear to myself and to our team that this mayor was not interested in resolving this,” Lancton said. “This is a game of politics by this mayor trying to get past the election.”

See here for the background. This I think sums up the situation well:

The story says that the 14th Court of Appeals will likely not render a verdict until after the election. And let’s be clear, if this election was illegal as the lower court ruled, then there really isn’t much basis for mediation. The city’s position can and should be that any negotiations should be done in the context of the normal collective bargaining process, as the firefighters have been operating without a new agreement for a couple of years now. The firefighters have a good argument that some form of pay parity should be the goal of those negotiations, since the people did vote in favor of Prop B. Unless the 14th Court eventually decides that the lower court ruling was wrong, I’m honestly not sure what else there is to talk about at this point.

UPDATE: Here’s the longer version of the Chron story.

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2 Comments

  1. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    If Turner hangs on, he may simply propose a repeal of the revenue cap, and use the firefighter situation to try to get it passed. Of course, that would put the HPFFA and their Republican allies on the back foot. But Turner has to win reelection first.

  2. Julian Deleon says:

    Houston Fire Fighters should toss out their Union President. He has held up their raises and gotten them into this mess.

    Boykins is not a viable candidate for Mayor.

    Fire Fighters turning down raises is falling flat with those who need a raise: Teachers, Nurses, Jailers, Food Service Workers, Custodians, etc. Voters are now more informed on this issues.

    I suspect Turner will get another 4 years.