firefighters

Firefighter Pensions
7:29 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Fate Of New Pension Plan For St. Louis City Firefighters Up To Court Of Appeals

(via Flickr/s_falkow)

The Missouri Court of Appeals heard arguments today over whether or not the city of St. Louis' new pension plan for firefighters will hold. Officials say the plan will save St. Louis almost $4 million a year. The union representing the firefighters doesn't dispute the cost savings, but says the city had no right to pass the plan in the first place. 

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Firefighter Pensions
9:50 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Legal Battle Resumes Over Changes To Pensions For St. Louis City Firefighters

Firefighters battle a blaze at the Admiral riverboat on Jan. 21, 2012. The boat was being dismantled for scrap at the time.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The Missouri Court of Appeals will hear arguments tomorrow on whether the city of St. Louis had the right to make changes to the pension benefits it offers its firefighters.

In lobbying for the changes in 2012, Mayor Francis Slay cited the financial burden pensions were beginning to place on the city. Its budget for fiscal year 2013 included a $31 million contribution to the system, up from $23 million the year before.

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Pensions
4:26 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Tweaks To New Pensions For City Firefighters Get First-Round Approval

Mayor Francis Slay is proposing major changes to the firefighter's pension system that could reduce benefits for new hires.
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen is a step closer to addressing some legal concerns with its new pension system for firefighters.

The measure cleared a procedural hurdle today, 18-10. A final vote will take place next week, likely with a similar result.

Judge Robert Dierker issued a preliminary ruling in October that the city was in rights to terminate the old pension system for firefighters and start a new one. But Dierker had some concerns about the way the new system treated vested employees.

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Residency requirements
2:14 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

St. Louis Firefighters Win Court Fight Over Residency

St. Louis firefighters have won the right to live outside of the city's boundaries after seven years - a right given to them in a 2010 state law.
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated at 4:30 p.m. with comments from Jeff Rainford.

St. Louis city firefighters who have served at least seven years with the department will be able to move outside the city boundaries.

The Missouri Supreme Court ruled today that the Missouri Legislature was within its rights in 2010 to pass a law overriding local residency requirements for fire departments in cities where the school district is unaccredited or provisionally accredited.

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Politics
3:59 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Mo. police, firefighters unions endorse Senator McCaskill

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

One day after the Missouri Farm Bureau reaffirmed its support for Congressman Akin, Senator Claire McCaskill announced endorsements from the Missouri chapters of the firefighters and police unions.  During a conference call, the incumbent Democrat praised the two groups.

"You know, none of the people who go into this line of work do it for the money," McCaskill said. "What they're looking for is a way to serve and give back and have a salary for their families."

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Firefighter Pensions
5:20 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Board of Aldermen greenlights firefighter pension reform

Alderman Stephen Conway argues Friday for passing a comprehensive overhaul of the St. Louis's firefighter retirement system.

Mayor Francis Slay scored a decisive victory Friday in his months-long battle to rein in firefighter pension costs. In a 17 to 10 vote, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen approved major reforms to the department’s retirement system, cutting benefits, raising payments, and preventing full retirement until age 55.

Slay’s office estimates the changes will save the city $8 million a year in pension costs that have more than quadrupled in the last five years.

Mayor Slay’s Chief of Staff Jeff Rainford says the reforms are necessary and protect taxpayers. 

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Firefighter pensions
2:54 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Legislative saga over firefighter pensions should end on Friday

Current and retired firefighters watch the Board of Aldermen debate reforms to their pension system on April 16, 2012. The measure should pass the Board on Friday.
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

After five months of debate, major reforms to the pensions for firefighters in St. Louis City are about to become law.

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Illinois Firefighters/Police
8:29 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Ill. law ensures police, others can do roadside charity

(via Flickr/Be.Futureproof)

Now, no one in Illinois can stop firefighters or police officers from collecting charitable donations on roads - even if they wanted to.

Under a new Illinois law, public safety officials can't be denied permits to collect money for charities from drivers along roadsides. Gov. Pat Quinn signed the law Friday and it takes effect immediately.

The governor's office says Illinois is the sixth state to adopt such a law. The others are Florida, Nebraska, Texas, California and North Carolina.

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Firefighter Pensions
1:33 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Firemen’s Retirement System of St. Louis sues city over pension issue

A St. Louis Fire Department firefighter waits for water as the excursion boat The Robert E. Lee is engulfed in flames at the riverfront in St. Louis on March 21, 2010. The boat was being prepared to be towed to the riverfront in St. Charles, Missouri.
File photo

Updated at 3:35 following actions by committee.

Attorneys for the Trustees of the Firemen's Retirement System of St. Louis announced today that they've filed a five-count lawsuit against the City of St. Louis regarding the ongoing pension issue.

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Firefighters /Police Officers
6:17 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

Slay ties firefighter pension reform to police cuts

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says firefighter pension costs have gone up by more than 500 percent in the last 10 years.
Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says cutting the fire department’s pension costs will enable the city to take 30 police jobs off the chopping block.

The Board of Police Commissioners voted Monday to hold onto 30 of the 80 police positions this year’s budget eliminates through attrition, but only if a pension reform bill is passed by the Board of Alderman.

Slay says the bill, which requires firefighters to pay more into the system and prevents full retirement benefits until age 55, would save the city more than $8 million.

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