Houston Fire Union President Announces Resignation

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HOUSTON, TX &#822 The president of the Houston Firefighters Union, Bryan Sky-Eagle, is resigning.

Sky-Eagle said fellow firefighters are making threats of violence against him, his wife and children, ages 9 and 12.

“They’ve involved physical threats, they’ve involved warnings to watch my back at night, forcibly removing me and physically removing me,” Sky-Eagle said.

According to Sky-Eagle, one threat specifically mentioned loosening the wheels on his truck.

“Why would you even consider taking the wheels off someone’s truck? I’m with my family at night, we travel at night and we travel in this truck.” Sky-Eagle said. “I am absolutely concerned for me and my family, that is without a doubt.”

Some of the threats were made directly to him through email, Sky-Eagle said. Others were posted on Facebook in a closed forum Sky-Eagle isn’t part of but was made aware of it.

“I had other firefighters send me messages in secret, concerned for me and my family’s safety. That’s how it came to my attention,” he said.

The allegations and his decision to resign come after months of tense negotiations between the Union and the city over firefighter pensions and benefits. Sky-Eagle told Local 2 that shouldn’t matter.

“Even if the membership didn’t agree with the contract or with internal workings, I still don’t think that’s justification for them to make threats on someone’s family,” he said.

Sky-Eagle has been a firefighter with HFD for 15 years. He was elected by his peers as president of the union in 2013.

“They elected me to make changes,” he said. “I know that these changes are not welcomed by all, but that’s what the membership wants and that’s what I’m trying to do,” he said.

An email sent by T. Scott Wilkey, the communications director for Local 341, said 93 percent of voting members rejected a contract proposal Sky-Eagle negotiated with Houston Mayor Annise Parker.

“While we question Mr. Sky-Eagle’s explanation for his resignation, we support his decision to resign,” Wilkey said. “With this difficult year behind us, the 3,800 men and women of the HPFFA look forward to refocusing our association’s attention and resources on protecting our members’ wages, benefits and workplace conditions and on delivering excellent service, being good stewards of city resources and giving back to the community.”

In his resignation letter, Sky-Eagle said, “The nature of the threats involved physical violence, premeditated altercations, targets against my home, family and vehicle and warning to watch my back at night.”

Sky-Eagle said the threats are being investigated by the district attorney. He has been in the middle of tense negotiations with the city regarding firefighter pensions and benefits.

From Click2Houston.com

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