SAN ANTONIO – The city of San Antonio on Thursday dropped its longstanding lawsuit against the San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association.
The lawsuit claimed the 10-year "evergreen clause" of the union's collective bargaining agreement with the city was unconstitutional.
A judge disagreed with the city and the Texas Supreme Court declined to hear the case.
Fire union President Chris Steele has repeatedly said that the lawsuit was the reason the union would not negotiate a new contract with the city.
"By dropping the lawsuit, the city is demonstrating its intent to take a positive step that will hopefully result in productive discussions and mutually agreed upon terms for a new CBA as soon as possible," City Attorney Andy Segovia said in a letter to Ricky Poole, an attorney representing the fire union.
Segovia asked Poole that a meeting take place in the next two weeks to discuss a plan to begin the bargaining process.
A fire union spokesman said Thursday afternoon that he is "confident both sides are preparing for that event."
The contract with the city expired Sept. 30, 2014, but the "evergreen clause" allowed the terms and benefits to continue until 2024.