AUSTIN, Texas (Legal
Newsline) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton recently intervened in a lawsuit
against the city of Austin that challenges a labor agreement with the Austin
Firefighters Association, Local 975.
The agreement between the
city and the association allows for “release time,” which permits employees to
work for the union at the expense of taxpayers.
Paxton alleges three
full-time employees are being paid each year to do nothing but engage in union
business, such as lobbying government officials, participating in partisan
political activities and negotiating for higher wages. Alleged conduct of this nature violates the Texas Constitution anti-gift clause provisions.
“The city of Austin has
abused its taxing power and with it the public trust,” Paxton said.
is siphoning money that should go to vital emergency services and redirecting
it towards a labor union’s political activity. It is a basic tenet of
democratic government that tax money be oriented toward a common good. An
agreement that enriches a private organization at the cost of Austin residents’
health and safety cannot be allowed to stand.”