The Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association (HPFFA) is suing Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and City Council Member Dave Martin.
They said the two violated the Texas Election Code by campaigning against a ballot initiative that would raise firefighter salaries to match those of Houston police of comparable rank, according to the Houston Chronicle.
The suit alleges city resources, like press conferences hosted on the city's website, were used in that campaign.
Mayor Turner said in a statement that “the Firefighters Union is trying to block the Mayor and the Chairman of the Budget and Fiscal Affairs (BFA) Committee, Council Member David Martin, from discussing the cost of the petition driven referendum. Why? The referendum they are asking voters to approve will cost a minimum of $300M over three years and equates to a 25% pay raise.”
The Mayor’s statement added that raise “will put the city in deeper financial distress after we have reformed the pension system which the Firefighters union didn't support. That is why the Firefighters Union refused to testify before the BFA Committee public hearing last week and don't want the Mayor and BFA Chairmen to discuss it now.”
Additionally, the statement noted that Mayor Turner has offered the firefighters a 9.5 percent pay raise over three years and the union has refused to accept it.
You can read the HPFFA’s lawsuit here: