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Jacksonville declares impasse with firefighters
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Jacksonville declares impasse with firefighters

Jacksonville declares impasse with firefighters
Photo Credit: Gene Wexler
Mayor Alvin Brown talks about his proposal to reform the city's pension system on October 29, 2012. Sitting in the background is Communications Director, David DeCamp.

Jacksonville declares impasse with firefighters

Citing “no choice”, the City of Jacksonville has declared impasse with the Jacksonville Association of Fire Fighters over pension reform.

“Not a huge shock, but I thought we’d at least get one more shot at the table,” says Union President Randy Wyse.

The declaration comes after just two meetings between the two sides, the most recent of which came Thursday.  The Union maintains it will not negotiate pension reform with the city, but rather that should be done between Jacksonville and the Police and Fire Pension Fund.

In a letter to Wyse, Chief Deputy General Counsel Derrel Chatmon says the PFPF does not have the legal authority to negotiate benefits.  He says the union’s repeated refusal to talk pension or make offers on the topic had no legal ground.  Additionally, that “sustainable retirement reform is imperative and delay is not an option.”

Wyse isn’t yet sure exactly what the next step will be beyond what procedure calls for.

“We’ll address each item in the letter individually and just move forward,” he says.

Chatmon says the city is open to continuing to meet, and Wyse hopes to do that to discuss proposals on non-pension related issues, or general employee benefits.

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