SERB to hear Salem dispute

SALEM -- Two Salem councilmen have issued a statement saying they are pleased that a dispute over a fire district will be heard by the State Employment Relations Board.
Greg Oesch and Steven Andres said Thursday, "It was and still is our intent to put a fire district plan together so you, the public, can make an informed decision whether to implement the Quaker Community Fire District or raise taxes. As always, the final say will be up to the voters."
Oesch and Andres are among four remaining council members. Voters last fall defeated three council members who supported the district, and the president of council.
Council enacted the district along with Perry Township trustees after a new three-year agreement with city firefighters went into effect. The plan called for the elimination of the city and township departments, whose members could apply for jobs at the district.
City officials have said they hoped to save $600,000 a year by creating the district.
A judge has blocked the fire district from going into operations.
SERB will decide whether council committed an unfair-labor practice.

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