HOUSTON – Houston firefighters are seeking voter support for binding arbitration as an option to resolve workplace contract disputes and avoid city-instigated, taxpayer-funded litigation, according to the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association.
HPFFA said thousands of signatures have already been collected on petitions to put the city charter amendment referendum before Houston voters in November 2021.
“Binding arbitration is a cost-effective way for public employees and cities to sensibly resolve disputes without expensive, taxpayer-funded litigation,” HPFFA President Patrick M. “Marty” Lancton said. “An arbitration option will help stop politicians like Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner from punishing firefighter families in endless litigation related to his refusal to engage in collective bargaining.”
The ballot follows recent efforts by Rep. Mary Ann Perez and more than 100 Republican and Democratic state legislators supporting a binding arbitration bill in support of Houston firefighters, according to the release.
“Houston firefighters are grateful for the extraordinary work of Rep. Perez who carried the binding arbitration bill and got bipartisan support for it,” Lancton said. “While the bill did not make it to a floor vote, Texas legislators and elected officials now better appreciate the value of binding arbitration. Now, we will put the issue into the hands of Houston voters.”
Austin and San Antonio have joined a list of other Texas cities that have approved binding arbitration as a way to resolve contract disputes with city employees.