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The Source: City Loses In Court Over Evergreen Clause, Now What?

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Ryan Loyd
TPR News

The City of San Antonio challenged public safety employees and their union representatives over the constitutionality of an evergreen clause that allows those employees to continuing working under their previous contract until a new contract is agreed upon for up to 10 years.

Judge Martha Tanner rejected the lawsuit Monday, and for San Antonio Police Officers Association President Mike Helle it represents "total vindication."

"Our membership was elated that we had such a resounding victory from the judge," says Helle.

City employees like Deputy City Manager Erik Walsh was on the negotiating team and says it will definitely be pushing forward with an appeal and city staff are certain the clause is unconstitutional under Texas law. 

"We disagree and that's why we will be appealing that," says Walsh. 

According to a recent column by Gilbert Garcia at the San Antonio Express-News, city manager Sheryl Sculley wrote to city council they expected an appeal regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit and that the city feels better about their chances the higher the case goes with the Texas Supreme Court being an all Republican body.

The future of the lawsuit is less cut and dry, after several city councilors expressed their wish to accept the lower court ruling this week. It doesn't appear those councilors have the votes to make an impact, but Mayor Ivy Taylor on Thursday reportedly stated that the city wouldn't finalize its appeal if public safety unions came back to the negotiating table.


  • Mike Helle, president of the San Antonio Police Officers' Assocation
  • Eric Walsh, deputy city manager for the City of San Antonio