Negotiations between New Orleans firefighters and city officials have failed, leaving a protracted legal battle and jockeying in the state Legislature as the likely arenas for their ongoing dispute over firefighter retirement benefits.
A working group established by Mayor Mitch Landrieu, which served as the vehicle for the negotiations, met for the last time Monday night in front of a City Hall auditorium packed with angry firefighters who say the city is trying to renege on promises they were made when they signed up for a dangerous job.
Firefighters and city officials on in the working group were miles apart on what the basic elements of a recovery plan would include.
The meeting did make clear just how dangerously underfunded the retirement system is, however.
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