MARY MEAUX — Local fire associations offer thanks for the votes

Published 12:03 am Friday, November 19, 2021

Over the last week or so city councils in Groves and Port Neches adopted changes to their city charter in connection with the Nov. 2 election, where voters approved propositions allowing for their respective fire associations the right to collective bargaining and binding arbitration.

Groves Professional Firefighters Association Local 1905 and Port Neches Professional Fire Fighters Local 2713 have expressed their gratitude to voters through social media pages

“We can not say thank you enough to all those who supported us along the way,” according to the Groves firefighters association page. “We look forward to continuing to work together with our city officials in the future, while maintaining the professional and harmonious relationship we currently have with them.”

Port Neches, likewise, offered a similar note of gratitude on its page.

 

The voting

Two propositions were placed before voters in Groves and Port Neches.

Proposition A established collective bargaining if a majority of the affected employees favor representation by an employees association, preserves the prohibition against strikes and lockouts and provides penalties for strikes and lockouts.

Proposition B amended the city charter in those cities to allow for participation in binding arbitration of all issues in dispute with the Association if the City and the Association reach impasse in collective bargaining.

The firefighter associations spent time speaking with residents and answering questions before the voting began.

Some of the interactions were to dispel misconceptions.

One of the key misconceptions, said Port Neches Fire Capt. Tyler Hebert, who is president of the Port Neches Fire Fighters Association, was the propositions would allow firefighters to go on strike.

In Groves, Proposition A passed with 84.05 percent or 917 votes with 15.95 percent or 174 votes against the issue.

Proposition B in Groves passed with 84.10 percent or 915 votes with 15.90 percent or 173 votes against the issue.

In Port Neches, 82.35 percent or 658 votes were in favor of Proposition A with 17.65 percent or 141 votes against it.

Proposition B in Port Neches passed with 81.01 percent or 644 votes in favor and with 18.99 percent or 151 votes against the issue.

 

Mary Meaux is a news reporter at The Port Arthur News. She can be reached at mary.meaux@panews.com.