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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Voters Will Vote on Firefighter Pay Parity Issue in Nov. 2018


After a year of delays and a court battle to get petitions counted, Houston City Council
approves letting voters decide whether city will pay first responders equally

HOUSTON, July 31, 2018 – Grateful for the support of tens of thousands of Houston voters that signed
petitions supporting equal pay for the city’s first responders, the 4,000 men and women of the Houston
Professional Fire Fighters Association have begun the next phase of their campaign for fair pay.

After a year of delays and a court battle to get citizen petitions counted, Houston City Council unani-
mously approved letting voters decide whether city will pay first responders equally. More information
about the firefighters’ charter amendment campaign is at: www.supporthoustonfirefighters.com.

HPFFA President Patrick M. “Marty” Lancton said, “We are grateful that the City Council members
were led by their conscience and their ministerial duty, and not by political arm-twisting. We look for-
ward to this campaign to help keep the fire department strong.” Lancton said firefighters are beginning
the campaign with a few important points:

• Since Houston has a property tax cap, the firefighter fair pay initiative would not raise city taxes. Hou-
ston firefighters generate more than $100 million in business permits, fees and other services. Simply
moving that revenue to the fire department budget would fund a fair pay increase.

• Too many firefighters are leaving HFD for better paying jobs elsewhere. Houston invests in top-notch
training of firefighters only to have other cities hire them away. A “yes” vote in November will help us
retain experienced, locally trained firefighters to better protect our neighborhoods and businesses.

• First responder pay parity is not a new concept. Houston used to have fire-police parity and it worked –
just as versions of it do in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Dallas, to name a few cities.

• We support our brothers and sisters in blue. We respect that the city has repeatedly found ways to fund
raises of 30 percent for police in the past seven years. During that time, firefighters got only 3 percent.

• Contrary to the mayor’s claims, firefighters did not refuse pay raises of 4 percent and 9.5 percent in re-
cent years. The mayor’s so-called 9.5 percent offer was never formalized before his team ended contract
negotiations. The so-called offer was to be a series of 3 percent raises – with major contract concessions.

CONTACTS:

Brian Wilcox Erin Powers


HPFFA Communications Director Powers MediaWorks LLC for the HPFFA
communicationsdirector@local341.org info@powersmediaworks.com
713.223.9166 or 713.205.0000 281.703.6000