3 firefighters, officer taking pension battle to court

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Three Jacksonville firefighters and a police officer are now going to court over their pension battle with the city.

The city is trying to force the unions to negotiate over the retirement plans.

The firefighters and officer say that violates an agreement between the two sides from 2000.

The unions have said the city needs to negotiate with the Police and Fire Pension Fund.

Randy Wyse is President of the Jacksonville Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF Local 122).

'We don't think that we're in the proper posture to do that due to 30-year settlement agreement between the fund and the City of Jacksonville," said Wyse. "(It) goes all the way back to Peyton administration. We think one way, the city thinks another. The police officers have felt let the courts figure it out. I think it's right decision."

Last year, Mayor Alvin Brown presented a pension reform proposal that he said would save the city billions of dollars over time.

On Thursday, the city issued the following statement:

"The City of Jacksonville is confident in its legal position and will defend this case vigorously. Under Florida law, retirement benefits are a mandatory subject of collective bargaining. Mayor Brown's retirement reform initiative follows the law and will create a sustainable retirement system for both city employees and taxpayers."

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