The City of San Antonio seeks a collective bargaining contract with the fire union that is
San Antonio firefighters may be the only municipal employees in the state who pay no monthly premiums for healthcare for themselves or their dependents. Healthcare is the fastest-growing portion of the public safety budget, which already consumes nearly 66% of the General Fund. Total compensation for the average firefighter in San Antonio is more than $145,000.
The most recent contract with the fire union expired in September 2014, which means firefighters has not received a pay raise since then. However, an “evergreen clause” in the contract provides an automatic 10-year extension to the contract, allowing healthcare costs to continue increasing while providing no true motivation for the fire union to come to the bargaining table.
The City believes the "evergreen clause" is unconstitutional and has asked the courts to intervene.
The only way to negotiate a new contract is for the two sides—the City and the fire union—to come to the table. Despite 10 formal written requests from the City, the fire union refuses to participate in negotiations. The police union did negotiate, and a mediated settlement in 2016 resulted in $87.5 million in healthcare cost avoidance.
Invitations to the fire union: