Ore. higher ed, workers bargain down to the wire

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Nearly 4,000 staff workers in the Oreogon higher education system face a potential strike vote if talks break down.

A bargaining session has been scheduled for Sept. 2 between university officials and the union representing classified workers in jobs such as security food service, clerical and technical.

The Salem Statesman Journal (http://bit.ly/qJ98dP ) reports the union has declared an impasse, and contract talks are in a 30-day "cooling-off" period.

A spokeswoman for the system says that if a deal isn't reached by Sept. 16, university administrators can implement their final offer, and the workers will have the right to call a strike.

The deal offered by the state is like one facing ratification this week by state agency workers. Union negotiators want to take furlough days off the table.

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Information from: Statesman Journal, http://www.statesmanjournal.com