Firefighters asking for voters to approve parity with police officer salaries

HOUSTON – Houston firefighters are in search of higher pay.

It's part of a "firefighter pay initiative" launched by the firefighters' union.

As we first told you last week, Houston firefighters want pay parity with the city's police.

They're circulating petitions to try to get the parity issue on the November ballot so voters can decide.

Firefighters began collecting signatures Saturday.

The Houston firefighters association says it's about basic fairness.

“We're both public safety employees; we both respond to the same kinds of calls. Firefighters of Houston put lives on (the) line every day,” said Marty Lancton, of the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association. “But in their quest for parity, firefighters aren't getting support from Houston police. The police union supports a pay raise for firefighters, but not based on police pay.”

“We believe they should be compared to firefighters in Dallas, Austin (and) San Antonio just as we compare ourselves to Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth and San Antonio,” Ray Hunt, with the Houston Police Officers Union, said.