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City leaders: Hialeah short millions in pension obligations

Letter from city attorney to police union explains $28 million shortfall

CSU Hialeah Bankrupt 6p
CSU Hialeah Bankrupt 6p

HIALEAH, Fla. – City leaders said they are short tens of millions of dollars in pension obligations for 2014 and 2015.

On Monday, the city attorney sent a letter to the head of the police union explaining the $28 million shortfall. The figure listed takes into account cuts in services as well as savings that could be found elsewhere in the budget.

"Problems with pensions are not unique to cities," said Mayor Carlos Hernandez.

The head of the police union said he felt blindsided by the letter. Both sides signed off on a new contract last year that takes them through 2016.

[READ: Letter sent by city attorney]

"Now they are in a jam and they are asking the employees to fix that hole they created," said John Rivera, with the police union.

The letter says the city must consider layoffs, furloughs and a change to the workweek.

Hernandez said he is optimistic the short-term issues can be resolved.

"The current plan in the long-term, however, is unsustainable," he said.

The city hopes to meet with the union in the coming weeks.

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