In a December 10, 2018 statement, Sylvester Turner said:
“So either we must implement Prop B or Prop B is void because it is pre-empted by state law. The court will ultimately decide.”
The court has decided.
Today, Harris County Judge Randy Wilson nullified the temporary restraining order requested by the Houston Police Officers’ Union to block implementation of Proposition B, the voter-approved pay parity amendment.
“The balance of equities weighs in favor of firefighters after the Houston voters decided they would rather have pay parity,” Judge Wilson said, adding that, “The Pay Parity Amendment does not violate public policy, is not unconstitutionally vague, and can be addressed through the initiative process.”
I am again offering to me- diate a discussion between the firefighters’ union and the city. I will not make a dime on this work – I am passionate about taking care of our first responders and not wasting this city’s money. Litigation is not the answer. The firefighters have accepted my offer, will the mayor?
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 voter-approved pay parity charter amendment. If anyone thinks this dispute will only cost our city the planned $500,000 in lawyers’ fees, I’ve got a bridge to sell you. Litigation is simply not the fiscally-responsible path forward, nor is it the sole option.
Not only is fighting Proposition B—the will of 292,000 voters—a losing battle, but it will take years, and it will waste tax- payer money. In the meantime, there are firefighter families out there who can’t sign their kids up for dance classes, tutoring and other activities. It’s time we equally value our police and fire first responders in Houston. I am offering to facilitate a cost-free discussion between the firefighters and the city to find a solution that works for everyone.
My goal is to start a dialogue with the mayor and get other community leaders engaged to try to resolve this dispute. Let’s sit down, roll up our sleeves and get to work. The city will have to compromise, perhaps the fire- fighters will have to compromise, but let’s stop this litigation process.