Houston officials: Mayor intends to lay off 400 firefighters
HOUSTON (AP) - City officials say Mayor Sylvester Turner in the coming weeks intends to lay off up to 400 firefighters so that he can then implement a pay-parity measure.
City councilors say Turner plans to impose the layoffs to pay for raises for other firefighters, who are entitled to the same pay as police of a corresponding rank under a measure city voters approved last year.
Councilors told the Houston Chronicle the mayor intends to soon send the layoff notices, which would come as city leaders are grappling with how to close a $197 million budget deficit.
Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association President Marty Lancton told the newspaper that "third-rate politicians" are destroying the fire department and the layoffs would put the city "below national safety standards."
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