JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- They are the men and women who keep us safe everyday. But the unions representing Jacksonville's police officers and firefighters haven't been able to come to an agreement with the City on their retirement benefits.
Citing astronomical costs of maintaining the current plan, the City wants police officers and firefighters to contribute more for their benefits and raise the age at which they can claim them.
Randy Wise, President of the Firefighters union, says they've put their cards on the table and they're willing to negotiate. "Look, we agree there's got to be pension reform."
The Police and Fire Pension Fund, or the PFPF, even hired an outside consulting firm look at the current fund and make recommendations. Action News obtained a copy of the firm's recommendations. There were many, but one suggested contributions to the pension fund should be increased. "We've said that all along," said Wise.
The issue is negotiating exactly how those contributions should be increased, and from where the money should come.
The unions say the City needs to negotiate with the PFPF. The City says it's supposed to negotiate directly with the unions. Now, the two sides are at an impasse.
"That's kind of the sticking point with us and the city right now is we're in agreement that yes, there should be some pension reform," said WIse. "But it has to be done with the pension trustees and not that Jacksonville Association of Firefighters or the FOP."
No timetable has been given on exactly how long the impasse with last. Wise says it's an ongoing process.