POSTED: Monday, April 7, 2014 - 4:29pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 7:35am
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS (KVEO NEWSCENTER 23) — It's been a long battle between the Brownsville Firefighter's Association and the city - three years to be exact.
According to a "me too" contract between the firefighters and policemen, any raise or benefit one union gets, the other is supposed to get as well.
Except, from 2008 to 2011, the city failed to give the BFFA 2.7 million dollars they were supposed to get based on the "me too" clause.
"In lieu of what the lawyer said, which was Rick Navarro, he said that he didn't think that we deserved it," said BFFA president Carlos Elizondo.
And because of that decision, the BFFA took the city to court where a visiting judge from Corpus Christi ruled that the firefighters should be owed the money.
Even though the Brownsville Firefighters Association cited a 'me too' clause because of the settlement given to the police, Elizondo says there is no tension between the two departments
"We're not at odds," said Elizondo. "We come together as a team."
But the city wasn't happy and took the case to an appeals court.
"Now, two, three years down the line we get the decision from the Thirteenth Court of Appeals, which they took to appeal and it was affirmed that the district court opinion stands: the firefighters were right," said Elizondo.
Now the city must pay $2.7 million dollars plus 5 percent post-interest. Elizondo says he still isn't sure what the city's next move will be.
"Our biggest interest is going back to the normality of what we normally do which is provide services to the citizens of Brownsville," said Elizondo.