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Mayor Annise Parker and Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association (HPFFA) President Bryan Sky-Eagle have agreed to return to the bargaining table to renew talks about a new contract for the rank and file at the Houston Fire Department (HFD). Union membership last month rejected a tentative agreement that would have helped the city with the financial challenges it faces while still providing pay hikes for fire fighters.
“It is encouraging that the union is willing to resume negotiations,” said Mayor Parker. “We will bargain in good faith, but crafting an alternative agreement will require creativity and flexibility now that City Council has approved a new City budget that utilizes all available resources.”
The proposed agreement was budget neutral and included more than 20 changes affecting staffing levels, leave, promotions and disciplinary actions. Firefighters would have received four percent across the board pay increases, effective January 1, 2015 and city would have been bound to maintain the 4-shift work model and critical minimum staffing levels. Concessions in time off for holidays, vacations and sick time would have kept overtime in check and avoided the possibility the city would need to take fire trucks and ambulances out of service.
The agreement signed by Mayor Parker and Sky-Eagle allows for negotiations through at least the end of July.
Janice Evans, Communications Director
Darian Ward, Press Secretary