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SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Negotiations between the state and unions representing government workers are heating up over the state’s demand that employees chip in part of their health care premiums.

The issue is perhaps the biggest hurdle separating the parties as they negotiate a labor contract for at least the next two years. Oregon is one of at least eight states that pay the entire health care premium for their workers, but Gov. John Kitzhaber’s administration is demanding they pay 5 percent of their premiums.

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