More than 700 workers in one of Oregon's largest counties are one step closer to walking off the job. Members of the Marion County Employee Association have voted by a three-to-one margin to authorize a strike.
The Salem-based union is unhappy with the county's contract offer. The workers want a raise tied to cost of living increases.
Union member Sara Fillion works at the public health department. She says the decision to potentially strike wasn't taken lightly.
"People are scared. We realize this isn't a great economic climate to do something like this. However, the fact that the vote passed I think really speaks volumes about the employees here and their resolve."
Even with the strike authorization vote, the union would have to give the county a 10-day notice before walking off the job. So far they haven't done so.
Marion County counsel Gloria Roy says she believes the county's offer is fair and generous. She says in the event of a strike, it could mean limited hours and longer wait times for county services like childhood immunizations and vital records.
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