In a surprise turn, Mayor Sylvester Turner paused council to read a newly-released ruling declaring Proposition B, the fire fighter pay parity measure, unconstitutional as it violates state law.
“The court is of the opinion the Houston Police Officer’s Union Motion is granted; The City of Houston’s Motion is granted; and The Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 341’s Motion is Denied.”
The motion goes on to say that the court declares that Chapter 174 of the Texas Local Government Code preempts Proposition B and it is unconstitutional and “void in its entirety because it violates article XI, section 5 of the Texas Constitution.”
The decision is appealable.
Following the ruling, the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association released the following statement:
“The court’s Prop B ruling is a disappointment, but our fight for what’s right is far from over. Two courts have ruled on the constitutionality of Prop B – one for, one against. We certainly will appeal this ruling. We will continue to strive to force Sylvester Turner to respect the will of 298,000 Prop B voters who sent a strong message that Houston should equally value its police and fire personnel. The mayor’s vindictive, taxpayer-funded campaign against Houston firefighter families continues. While this fight goes on, we will continue to deliver excellent service, be good stewards of city resources, and give back to the communities we serve.”