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Firefighters gear up for another ballot

Wednesday, October 14, 2020 by Jo Clifton

The Austin Firefighters Association has started a petition drive to gather enough signatures to bring a charter amendment before voters next May. If approved, that amendment would put a binding arbitration clause in the city charter as it relates to contracts between the city and the firefighters association. According to the association’s website, 95 percent of members voting in a recent election agreed with the idea of amending the city charter to include the binding arbitration clause. Campaigners working for the firefighters have already started gathering signatures to get that proposition on the ballot in May 2021. One such campaigner was seeking signatures Tuesday from voters waiting in line to vote at the South Austin Recreation Center. The petitioner, who said his name was Bakr, explained that either side could request an arbitrator if the parties reached an impasse. He said firefighters will not be back at the bargaining table until 2022.

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