CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) -- It's back to the drawing board in Cranston regarding pension reform.
Monday night, the City Council was expected to take up discussion of Mayor Allan Fung's proposal to cut pension benefits for retired police officers and firefighters, including freezing cost of living adjustments for ten years.
However, Fung withdrew the two proposed city ordinances instead, citing an increased willingness to negotiate on the part of the retired civil servants. Now the two sides will go back to the bargaining table to come up with an alternative arrangement.
The city faces an impending pension crisis, with only 16 percent of the pension liability for those retirees funded - an amount over $250 million.
"Tonight was the first time we've had some indication that there probably are a good number of retirees that are willing to at least commence those negotiations," Mayor Fung said.
Paul Valletta, President of the city's firefighters union, praised the Mayor's withdrawal of the measures.
"There's no threat of ordinances hanging over anybody's heads," he said. "We can go into negotiations and everybody can try to work to solve this problem."
Police officers and firefighters hired before 1995 - nearly 500 people - would have been affected by the Mayor's proposed cuts.
There's no word yet on when the two sides will sit down to continue negotiations.
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