Oregon’s public university workers vote to authorize strike

Oregon

SEIU 503 represents 45,000 employees

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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) – Workers at seven public universities in Oregon have voted to authorize a strike if a new contract deal isn’t reached during negotiations next week.

The Register Guard reported Wednesday that the workers’ union, SEIU 503, says its members would officially start the strike Sept. 30.

The union represents 4,500 public university workers who work in maintenance, food preparation, tech support, grounds, custodial services and financial aid assistance.

A strike would come as classes begin at some Oregon institutions, including the University of Oregon.

Sticking points in the negotiations include demands for higher cost of living increases and additional pay step increases for workers who are “topped out” at the top of their scale.

The two parties will return to the bargaining table Monday.

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