Houston firefighters take battle over pay to voters

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HOUSTON (AP) — Voters in Houston are being asked to resolve a contentious battle between the city and its firefighters over pay raises.

Houston residents on Nov. 6 will decide whether to approve a ballot measure that would grant the city’s 4,000 firefighters pay parity with police officers.

The firefighters’ union says its members have only had a 3 percent pay raise since 2011. The union says Houston firefighters are woefully underpaid compared with the city’s police officers and other fire departments across the country.

Mayor Sylvester Turner says the measure would be “a financial disaster for the city.” The city estimates the initial costs at up to $100 million.

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Turner says it would lead to layoffs and cuts in city services.

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