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February 25, 2014

Workers’ group to fight pension bills

OKLAHOMA CITY — A group that represents public workers in Oklahoma is issuing a call to action to its members and urging them to oppose measures to change the retirement system for newly hired state employees.

Oklahoma Public Employees Association Executive Director Sterling Zearley said Monday the group opposes bills in the both the House and Senate that would switch new workers from the traditional defined-benefit pension to a 401(k)-style defined contribution retirement system.

Zearley says he’s been working with legislators for several years to get a pay increase for state workers, which is unlikely to happen this year because of budget constraints. He says state workers are not willing to take away the pension for new hires without an agreement to substantially increase salaries.

— AP

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