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Butler County Children Services workers on strike

BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (Larry Davis) -- More than one hundred Butler County Children's services workers went on strike.

Union leaders delivered petition signatures Monday, asking the county to pay fair wages.  The deadline for county commissioners and union workers to reach a deal on a contract had come and gone as of Monday morning.  No agreement was reached. 

At 7:35 a.m. Monday, August 18, about 30 social workers began to picket outside Butler County Children Services in Hamilton. Then they moved to the Government Services Building.

Money is at the center of the disagreement. The union wanted a 3.5 percent pay increase for a year of the three-year contract and they wanted step raises reinstated.  The county contends it just doesn't have the money and would be hard-pressed to balance the budget in 2016.

The striking social workers were joined on the picket lines by foster parents and members of the community.

"I think it's awesome. We are getting a ton of community support. We created a public Facebook page. Lot of people giving us support there, people are down here from Oxford who did car pool to get down here. We have foster parents that despite them being told they to stay neutral they've been here," said Union President Rebecca Palmer.

In addition to the county hiring new workers, county officials said administrative staff will also doing case work and assure the children who are served will be safe. The county will also rely on agencies from across the state.

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