No firefighter union negations until after November elections, union leader says

(Photo: SBG San Antonio)

SAN ANTONIO — The head of the San Antonio Firefighters Association told a group of neighborhood leaders Monday that the union will not go back to the bargaining table with the city until after voters decide on 3 Charter amendments in November.

Chris Steele made those remarks at the Northeast Neighborhood Alliance meeting where the union discussed and debated the Charter amendments with Secure San Antonio’s Future, a group against the Charter amendments.

The charter amendments, put forward by the union, include limiting the pay of the city manager as well as limiting how long they can serve to 8 years.

Forcing the city to go to third party arbitration if contract terms can’t be reached. The third Charter amendment would reduce the number of signatures it takes to get a ballot measure on the ballot.

“These propositions set San Antonio back 30 years and they set us back financially they pit neighborhood versus neighborhood and they are just unacceptable for a fast growing city like ours,” said Christian Archer, Campaign Strategist for Secure San Antonio’s Future.

“When people try to put scare tactics on you that bad things are gonna happen. I’m not here to do scare tactics. The a motto of our campaign is let the people decide we know that you were smart enough to read the charter amendment,” said Steele.

Last month The Texas Supreme Court ruled not to hear arguments in the city’s complaint to end the firefighters unions evergreen clause. The clause keeps firefighters’ labor contract in effect for 10 years after its expiration which would be through 2024.

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