Voters to decide whether Houston firefighters get equal pay

Firefighters walk out of a Houston apartment complex in this undated image. (KPRC)

HOUSTON – Voters will decide in the November election whether Houston firefighters will be paid the same as the city’s police officers.

The City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved putting the issue of pay parity on the November ballot.

The Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association, the union that represents the city's firefighters, submitted a petition last year with more than 20,000 signatures. That petition was later approved, meaning the issue must be put to the voters.

Marty Lancton, the union's president, said he was pleased with the City Council's decision.

"We are grateful that the City Council members were led by their conscience and their ministerial duty, and not by political arm-twisting," Lancton said. "We look forward to this campaign to help keep the fire department strong.”

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said Wednesday that he plans to hold a series of town hall meetings in each of the city’s districts to educate the public on the effect the measure would have on the city’s budget if it passes.

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