The City of Baytown and the Baytown Professional Firefighters Local 1173 came to the table Tuesday to discuss collective bargaining proposals, covering items such as overtime pay, certifications, scheduling and promotions.
The two sides tried to concentrate on non-compensation issues to make as much progress as possible before diving into the compensation proposals.
To clean up language in the contract, the city wanted to remove a statement that said city council picks the schedule for firefighters since the article dealt with shifts when they were eight hours long.
The city said council does not create schedules and said scheduling is something management decides.
Union members said that removing it could pose a problem if management made changes to shifts because firefighters would have no outlet to contest a potential change.
Dallas Webb, president of the Baytown Professional Firefighters, said they were against removing the language because if undesirable scheduling were to occur, they want to be able to petition city council — informing them of the shifts they want.
“We would rather it be a vote of several people rather than just one man,” he said.
Both sides agreed to leave the language the way it is written, as has occurred in the past.
In what was the fourth meeting between the two groups, both groups have said they’re working very well together to come to an agreement and hope to come to finalize the negotiations soon.