SAINT JOHN, N.B. – City council worked behind closed doors for six hours last night on the cost of a long term disability plan.

Saint John Mayor Mel Norton says the stakes are high for the city if the plan is not completed by the January 1st deadline.

“It’s critical that it be in place and we know the potential (budgetary) implications if it’s not in place by January 1st and it would trigger payments under the current pension situation if we’re not successful.”

Council did not pass the operating budget for the city last night but did agree to sign the memorandum of understanding for the shared risk pension plan and put a disability plan in place something the city unions still have to agree to.