Ore. fire district, employees agree on wage cuts

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Officials of Marion County, Ore., Fire District No. 1 say they've reached agreement with the union representing employees on a package of wage and benefit reductions that will save more than $260,000 a year.

District Board President Randy Franke says all employees have agreed to take a 2.5 percent wage reduction and some will take voluntary demotions.

Two administrative staffers have been laid off and two tenured staff members took voluntary retirement.

District officials say they faced a budget shortfall.

James Mulhern of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 2557 says both management and firefighters have sacrificed "to ensure that reductions to fire and emergency medical services are minimized in this down economy."

The district serves unincorporated areas of east Salem and Marion County east of Salem.