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The firefighters union and City of San Antonio have agreed to another deadline extension for labor contract negotiations, according to union and City spokespeople.
The union sent a brief press release Thursday afternoon, stating: “The parties have agreed to another 15-day extension to continue mediation.”
It’s unclear if this is a sign of progress toward compromise in the contentious negotiation process between the two parties or an attempt to keep the lines of communication open until the mayoral race is determined. However, when contacted for further comment, neither the City’s team nor the union would say anything else about the meetings or mediation process itself.
The first extension set the deadline of April 21 for when they would then reach an official impasse under State law. That date has now been pushed to May 6 – two days after the May 4 municipal election.
However, Proposition C gives the San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association the authority to trigger binding arbitration between the sides at any moment.
After 10 public meetings that began in February and chilly back-and-forth exchanges about how – or if – to proceed, the parties agreed to two days of formal, private mediation that began this week with former Texas Supreme Court Judge Deborah Hankinson.
Judge Hankinson also mediated the court-ordered sessions in 2017, which were recorded and later posted on the City’s website. This round will not be recorded, the spokespeople confirmed.