Oregon Public Broadcasting

Members of Salem's largest city employees' union are preparing for a possible strike.

The Statesman Journal reports that union members and city officials declared an impasse this week in contract negotiations.

Officials with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees say negotiations broke down over health insurance costs.

Union members are being asked to take a cut in health coverage.

But they say management and non-union employees are still getting fully-funded health care.

The union does not represent police or firefighters, who already have negotiated their contracts with the city.

Declaring an impasse sets up strict deadlines for both parties that could lead to a strike.

The next step is a mediation process, led by the state Employment Relations Board.

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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