Mayor Taylor calls for ‘holiday truce’ in union talks

SAN ANTONIO – Mayor Ivy Taylor called for a truce Monday between city leaders and the San Antonio police and fire unions.

Both sides have become entangled in a bitter feud over health benefits for police officers and firefighters.

But Mayor Taylor held a press conference Monday and announced a ‘holiday truce’ until January when both sides can once again meet.

Mayor Taylor also announced plans to bring in a third party actuary to review the numbers and identify the true impact of the health benefits on the city’s budget.

The mayor also emphasized her support for City Manager Sheryl Sculley, who was not present for the press conference and has been the target of negative ads by the San Antonio Police Officers Association.

Councilman Rey Saldana added the council will ‘not be getting rid of her.’ Union members have called for her resignation.

The mayor and council members who were present for Monday’s announcement added the negative ads have been counter-productive to their efforts in the ongoing contract dispute. They hope the truce will lead to more productive talks in the new year.

When asked about the city’s lawsuit which was recently filed against the unions, Taylor said there are no plans to withdraw it.

During a later interview, SAPOA President Mike Helle stated his disappointment the truce did not include dropping the lawsuit.

As for Mayor Taylor’s assessment of the union’s ‘mud-slinging’ campaign, Helle said the ads are ‘truthful.’

A spokesperson for the fire union said the group has not been contacted by the mayor regarding the truce.