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Government, Politics & Issues

Slay ties firefighter pension reform to police cuts

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.

“It’s time to do the right thing for the people of St. Louis," Slay said. "It’s time for us to fix the pensions so we can support the police department, [so] we can support the fire department the way we need to support it. And we can also continue to provide services to the people of St. Louis that they expect and deserve.”

The police board also voted Monday to reinstate pay matrix increases for officers ranking sergeant and above if the pension reform bill is passed. 

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