Houston firefighter cadets receive nearly $8K pay bump after Turner approves salary increase


HOUSTON – The Houston Fire Department has increased starting pay for firefighter cadets in an effort to boost recruiting in a competitive job market, according to city officials.

According to a release from the City of Houston, cadets are now paid a salary of $36,000 compared to the previous salary of $28,023. The pay increase took effect on Feb. 8, officials said.

Officials said Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña requested the increase, which was approved by Mayor Sylvester Turner.

“The Fire Cadet classification is outside of the fire collective bargaining group and the pay rate had been stagnant since 2001. I want to thank Mayor Turner for approving the requested increase," Peña said in a written statement. "Here in Houston, we are up against strong competition not only from surrounding fire departments who are moving from volunteer to paid firefighters, but from an overall strong labor market, a robust economy and more Houstonians with jobs today. The approved Cadet pay rate is a significant increase, but in a competitive market, it is an investment in attracting and recruiting good people.”

Collective bargaining laws became a hot topic after a judge declared Proposition B unconstitutional. The voter-approved ordinance would have required Houston’s firefighters to be paid the same as their Police Department counterparts. The judge said the proposition violated a state law that governs collective bargaining.

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