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Madison County workers could strike

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – More than 400 Madison County employees could go on strike within a couple of weeks.

AFSCME set a strike deadline today of October 12th.

Union officials say the county is attempting to pay lower wages for new employees. Regional Director Buddy Maupin.

"The other issue in dispute is the refusal of the county to make any contribution whatsoever for family health care. So we have people paying more than $880 a month for their insurance. For some of my members that's three weeks pay," Maupin said.

But John Gilbert, an attorney for the county, says the employees health care costs are covered in full, although their dependents are not.

Gilbert also says county officials are ready to put a new offer on the table that drops the lower wage for new employees.

"The ideas that we have to bring to mediation involves a pay plan that would not include an alternative pay system, or what AFSCME calls the two-tiered pay system," Gilbert said.

Gilbert says the county is prepared to go back into mediation with a new offer.

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