Houston Matters

Negotiating Firefighter Contracts: What Are the Sticking Points?

Negotiation and litigation are a part of life for city and county authorities here in Greater Houston. Unionized employees seek better pay and conditions; city and county residents seek court intervention when they believe government entities are acting improperly. This includes Houston’s firefighters, who negotiate salaries and hiring with the city, and pensions with the state. […]

Negotiation and litigation are a part of life for city and county authorities here in Greater Houston. Unionized employees seek better pay and conditions; city and county residents seek court intervention when they believe government entities are acting improperly.

This includes Houston’s firefighters, who negotiate salaries and hiring with the city, and pensions with the state. But why is it this way? Houston Matters’ Paige Phelps asks Elena Farah, an independent public finance, budgeting and pensions consultant and research associate with the University of Houston’s Hobby Center for Public Policy.

Also, we invited Todd Clark, chair of the Houston Firefighter Relief & Retirement Fund, to join us for this discussion, but he declined. However, we do speak with Alvin White, Jr., President of the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association. He discusses the remaining sticking points for firefighters in the latest round of contract negotiations.

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