Houston Firefighters’ Union Statement on Deal With City

 Houston Firefighters Reach Tentative Three-Year Agreement with City

 HOUSTON, May 17, 2011 – The following statement was released today by Jeff Caynon, president of the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association (HPFFA):

 Local 341’s collective bargaining team reached a tentative agreement with the City today for a three-year deal. The agreement includes a guarantee of no layoffs in the first year, wage freezes for two years, and a one percent raise with a wage opener in the third year. This agreement must be approved a majority of our members and City Council.

 “We believe the tentative agreement balances the compensation and workplace safety needs of firefighters with those of the city and taxpayers. Houston firefighters understand the financial difficulties our city faces. Citizens rated HFD as the city’s top department in the most recent citywide survey, but we know we must continue to earn their trust. Some citizens have asked what we have done to help close the city budget deficit. Houstonians should know that firefighters first proposed budget cuts months ago. We then made tens of millions of dollars in budget and pension concessions.

 “Citizens should also know this tentative agreement prevents firefighter layoffs that would have imperiled our ability to keep the right number of firefighters on the job, with the right training and the right equipment.

 “I appreciate the efforts of my brother and sister members of the collective bargaining team: Local 341 general counsel Rick Mumey, bargaining committee chairman Alvin White, Curtis Williams, Jafet Suarez, and Danielle Wilson. 

“We also extend thanks to the dozens of firefighters who attended the City Council meeting today and to District Chief Robert Schleiter, Communications Captain Fred Chambers and Firefighter James Aston for their excellent remarks.” 

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