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City council of Providence, Rhode Island voted to end the cost of living increases for public employee retiree pensions.
-- today on -- -- company a Providence firefighters union president pulled out a all -- that that was not -- was -- that's.
Contracts formed the really the social fabric for the entire country.
And if they can just -- way this provision of a contract what stop them from you -- anything away.
I'm now Providence is still teetering on the brink of bankruptcy but ending those cost of living increases for people -- -- retired.
That would say this city about ninety million dollars a year.
Prominent city councilman David sell -- is joining us now he is in Rhode Island as we speak a David welcome to the program.
How -- the firefighters union says vote is not fat don't do this don't take a -- cost of living adjustments on what do you say.
While our pension sustainability committee which is a committee of the City Council.
Created seven recommendations based on expert testimony.
They came before the committee and we found a common themes that our cost of living adjustments.
Were not sustainable and in.
Essentially bankrupting our parent pension system.
Now you've used the would bankrupting.
It is that an accurate use of the would you are about to run out of money.
What I just stated was our pension system is facing a 903 million dollar unfunded liabilities so on the pension side yes we are facing a bankrupted pension system but.
Also our city finances.
We have to address our structural deficits and I think the City Council and the mayor's office have done a decent job over the last sixteen months in addressing those structural deficits.
What we're asking for our.
Our retirees to come to the table to make concessions.
So that we -- don't face bankruptcy problem now the Fatah.
As chief mr.
-- yesterday said that look that he wants to go to the table he wants to negotiate he said he says he will not be dictated to.
Have you negotiated with the union on this issue.
We who we are in Constant Contact with all of our unions the city's biggest union has embraced our plan to suspend cost of living adjustments until our pension system.
Reaches a 70% funding level.
So while while I respect president -- -- opinions.
Who will we are asking him to come to the table and if he does have an alternative solution to get our pension system.
Back to a sustainable level which is a a 70% funding level I am all -- OK so let me sum it up if you don't get concessions all -- some kind or another from the retirees from the pension plan.
You go belly up is that accurate.
Well -- that is what we are facing I'm not ready to -- that white flag yet however.
That is what our city is facing.
We do have a cash flow issue by the way he wanted to raise taxes when he said of that.
Well that about the mayor's budget holds the line on taxes.
Did you know half half of our.
Assessed property in provinces tax exempt now Brown University stepped up to the -- yesterday.
Or two days ago and -- agreed to pay additional money in lieu of taxes to the city of Providence we are asking our retirees in the city of Providence.
To share in that sacrifice -- self -- -- can.
That would I'm sorry we're out of time in the we're gonna follow this because what -- doing in Providence, Rhode Island is mirrored all across the country.
We've made payments of -- promises to pay pensions and we can't pay too worried to see what tonnes up annual Citi.
David Salvatore thanks for joining us so we appreciate it thank -- for having me on --