A comparison between the two contracts raises the question of whether the long wrestling and arbitration process paid off for the firefighters` union. Sculley, largely attributed to the professionalization of the city and the promotion of economic development and infrastructure, was the subject of union criticism and, ultimately, the objective of a union-backed charter amendment, which reduced the remuneration of future city officials and resulted in binding arbitration. Although she was not affected by the salary cap, she announced the completion of her 13-year term in the City, just weeks after voters approved the measures. Another important point of disagreement was public health. In the long world, firefighters paid nothing in bonuses and had low deductibles. If the changes were not approved within 180 days by the Police and Fire Services Commission, it would stop contributing and increase the clothing allowance by $384 per year for each firefighter. Initially, the union wanted to explore the possibility of creating a unionized health fund that would deprive the city of its control. However, one of the latest proposals from the firefighters` union maintained the current structure of the plan during conciliation, but imposed a monthly premium of $150, regardless of the number of dependants claimed. The new contract includes two plans in which union members can vote – in one of them, firefighters pay for the first time bonuses for their loved ones. But there is growing concern about the payment of legal defences for firefighters and police officers accused of crimes, particularly in cases of domestic violence. Sculley had tried to change the firefighters` contract to take over the helm for their own health care. She predicted that public safety would swallow up 100 percent of the city`s overall fund by 2031 if police and fire contracts remained unchanged.
The police union, which has made agreements with the city in the past, which resemble those of the firefighters` union, also received a pay rise of 17 percent in total, but 14 percent of them were recurring – meaning it was added to the base salary – and 3 percent was a one-time payment. The agreement was reached in 2016. In response, city manager Erik Walsh said he had ordered the San Antonio Fire Department to create a new captain`s position that would help uniformed department employees meet the demands of their employees. The city is already paying $260 million under the current firefighters union contract, and its new proposal would increase that amount by about $3 million. The union`s proposal would cost an additional $42 million. Under the new agreement, firefighters receive 2 per cent and 3 per cent annual increases as well as lump sum payments. According to KSAT, firefighters will also pay more for health care. The new contract has a maximum “evergreen” term of five years. During this period, firefighters` contributions to their health plans would increase by 10% per year, as they did during the five-year contract.