JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Retirement reform hit a roadblock Wednesday, when the police union refused to negotiate pensions with the City.
Union President Nelson Cuba cut a meeting short tell the city attorney, "I'm done. Take me to court."
Cuba says Jacksonville has a long-standing, court-ordered agreement to negotiate pensions with the Police and Fire Pension Fund, a separate city department.
He said, "If this mayor truly wants pension reform, he needs to go sit down with the Police and Fire Pension Fund, period. It's that simple."
The city says its required by law to negotiate directly with the unions. With both sides standing firm, they are now at an impasse.
General Counsel Derrel Chatmon said, "We understand that Nelson has his way of looking at things, and so does the FOP. There are other avenues to be taken and this isn't the end. This is the beginning."
Mayor Brown says the city spends too much taxpayer money on police and fire pensions: $121 million this year alone. Without reform, he says the city will go bankrupt. So this week, he presented police with a plan which would make officers contribute more to their retirement.
"We have to do what's right for the taxpayers, those who foot the bill," Mayor Brown told Action News on Tuesday.
But the union says Jacksonville's police officers put their lives on the line everyday, and that their pensions aren't handouts from taxpayers.
"If we are blessed enough to make it through this career and survive, then we were hoping that community and this city would keep their promise to us and give us what we've earned," said Cuba.
There's a good chance this issue will wind up in court. The two sides are set to meet again November 14th.