Public Safety - Facts
Public Safety - Facts
Public Safety - Facts
Public Safety - Union Contracts
Public Safety - Union Contracts
Public Safety - Union Contracts
Public Safety - News
Public Safety - News
Public Safety - News
Public Safety - Healthcare & Retirement Benefits Task Force
Public Safety - Healthcare & Retirement Benefits Task Force
Public Safety - Healthcare & Retirement Benefits Task Force

FACTS

UNION CONTRACTS

NEWS

HEATHCARE & RETIREMENT
BENEFITS TASK FORCE

Public Safety - State Law
Public Safety - State Law
Public Safety - State Law

STATE LAW

Get The Facts

The fire union refuses to negotiate a fair collective bargaining agreement with the City of San Antonio.

Court ordered mediation

In November 2016, the Texas Fourth Court of Appeals ordered mediation in an attempt to have the City and fire union reach agreement with respect to the evergreen lawsuit and issues related to the collective bargaining process, including negotiation of a new fire union contract. Mediation began on Jan. 13, 2017 and was subject to confidentiality by both parties.

Fire union requested $35 million

During the mediated sessions, the fire union essentially requested a healthcare check for $35 million per year – with guaranteed increases of 10% every year – in order to manage a healthcare trust with little or no oversight by the City. The City could not recommend a healthcare plan that essentially locks in the unsustainable healthcare benefits they have had for more than 25 years and is substantially more expensive than the plan for police officers and all other City employees.

The City offered 12% pay increase

In exchange for firefighters contributing to the cost of their healthcare for the first time ever, the City offered a 12% pay increase over five years. The union rejected the City’s proposals and continued to counter with proposals that, in aggregate, were more costly than the recently completed police contract. The mediator declared impasse on April 3, 2017.

Please reload

Increasing health costs

On Dec. 8, 2017, the Texas Supreme Court asked for full briefs in the City's lawsuit seeking to strike the evergreen provision from the Collective Bargaining Agreement with fire union. The evergreen provision binds the City to increasing and unsustainable health costs for uniformed employees through 2024. The City believes this obligation violates the Texas Constitution's prohibition against cities taking on unfunded debt.

Texas Supreme Court case

The City asked the Texas Supreme Court to hear the case after the Bexar County District Court ruled in favor of the fire union and the Texas Fourth Court of Appeals affirmed the decision. Briefs will be submitted by the City and the fire union in January 2018. The Court will then decide whether to hear the case.

Please reload

Fair CBA for firefighters and taxpayers

The City continues to invite the fire union to start negotiating a CBA that is fair to both firefighters and San Antonio taxpayers.

Please reload

Background

In November 2016, the Texas Fourth Court of Appeals ordered mediation in an attempt to have the City and fire union reach agreement with respect to the evergreen lawsuit and issues related to the collective bargaining process, including negotiation of a new fire union contract. Mediation began on Jan. 13, 2017 and was subject to confidentiality by both parties.

During the mediated sessions, the fire union essentially requested a healthcare check for $35 million per year – with guaranteed increases of 10% every year – in order to manage a healthcare trust with little or no oversight by the City. The City could not recommend a healthcare plan that essentially locks in the unsustainable healthcare benefits they have had for more than 25 years and is substantially more expensive than the plan for police officers and all other City employees.

In exchange for firefighters contributing to the cost of their healthcare for the first time ever, the City offered a 12% pay increase over five years. The union rejected the City’s proposals and continued to counter with proposals that, in aggregate, were more costly than the recently completed police contract. The mediator declared impasse on April 3, 2017.

Prior to the court-ordered mediation, the fire union had refused multiple requests by the City for three years to come to the bargaining table and begin negotiations. Instead, the fire union allowed its contract to expire and trigger the “evergreen clause,” which allows the terms and benefits of the expired contract to continue. With the “evergreen clause” in place, the fire union has refused – despite nine requests from the City – to negotiate a new contract for wages and benefits after the most recent agreement expired on Sept. 30, 2014. On Oct. 1, 2017, the City entered its ninth year of the 2009 contract and the fourth year in the evergreen period. During that time, healthcare costs per fire uniform employee have increased by nearly 120%.

© 2018 CITY OF SAN ANTONIO