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Dallas Council Considers "Meet and Confer"

By BJ Austin, KERA News

Dallas, TX –

On Wednesday, the Dallas City Council votes on recognition for the police and fire "meet and confer" team. KERA's BJ Austin says that vote could change the dynamic of City Hall discussions about pay and working conditions.

"Meet and Confer" in Texas House Bill 2307 permits police and fire groups to meet with city management teams to talk about wages, benefits and working conditions. Police and firefighters may NOT strike.

City officials say meet and confer is not a requirement, but it is an opportunity and a mechanism to reach agreement on important employment issues.

In order to start the meet and confer process, police and fire must present the city with a petition. That's what council members will consider. They have three options: grant recognition of the meet and confer team; defer recognition and order an election so voters decide if the city should have "meet and confer; or require a certification election to determine if the employee groups in the meet and confer team represent a majority of Police and Firefighters.

The City Manager recommends recognition, and approval to begin discussions. All agreements must ultimately be approved by the City Council.

Fort Worth established "meet and confer" in 2008.

Email BJ Austin