City council votes to reverse 220 firefighter layoffs

Houston City Council officially voted on Wednesday to reverse 220 firefighter layoffs and demotions after a judge ruled Proposition B unconstitutional last month.

Proposition B is the voter approved measure that grants Houston firefighters the same pay as police of corresponding rank and seniority.

The implementation of it has been controversial, leading to debate between Mayor Sylvester Turner, the City Council and the Firefighters Union.

Mayor Sylvester Turner has argued that the pay raises would cost the city $80 million a year and force the layoffs of firefighters, cadets, and municipal workers. Layoffs were to go into effect at the end of June.

After the judge ruled the measure unconstitutional, the mayor said there would be no layoffs and no demotions.

"Now that Proposition B has been ruled unconstitutional by the court, then there is no reason to take those actions. No one wants to lay off anybody. And now we have to move forward, and look, I firmly believe firefighters are deserving of a pay raise," Mayor Turner told FOX 26 last month. "I’ve always said that. You have never heard me say firefighters are not deserving. What I’ve always said, is they are deserving of a pay raise that the city can afford."

On the same day that the judge ruled Proposition B "unconstitutional" and "void", the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association submitted an appeal.