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.
Though they waited until the last possible minute in the current session, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen has approved a measure that lays the ground for reforms to the pension system for its firefighters.
The dispute over the best way to reduce the cost of firefighter pensions in the city of St. Louis continued on Friday, with Lewis Reed, the president of the Board of Aldermen, laying out his plan.
Reed, whose Twitter feed tracked the progress of a Thursday late-night meeting among himself, firefighters, and selected aldermen, says his plan will reduce the city's required contribution into the Fireman's Retirement System for next year by $7.6 million. Reed unveiled the plan at a City Hall news conference Friday.
St. Louis city firefighters took their objections to pension reform proposals from Mayor Francis Slay to City Hall on Friday, the day the legislation making the changes was formally introduced.
Firefighters say they don't object to the cost-saving proposals in the bills, including reduced disability payments for firefighters who can be retrained for a second career, and a two-tier system that could reduce pension benefits for new hires.