Chief Samuel Pena told the city’s Public Safety Committee & Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday that he’s planning to lay off a total of 237 firefighters to implement Proposition B, which requires pay parity with police.
But Pena also said the goal could be accomplished without any job losses by phasing in the firefighter raises.
That would require negotiation, though, and according to the firefighters union, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and the firefighters aren’t talking to each other.
The plan Pena laid out Tuesday would eliminate 220 classified firefighter positions in addition to the 67 firefighter trainees laid off last week.
He said the plan will require consolidation and reorganization. The department will go from four to three shifts, three ladder trucks would be taken out of service, and the department’s average response time would increase two seconds, but no stations would be closed.
However, Pena also told the committee the department could fully implement Prop B without any layoffs if it was done over a period of years.