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Columbus School Employees Reject Contract.

The union that represents more than 3,000 Columbus school bus drivers, cooks and other non-teaching employees has voted down a two-year contract and authorized a strike.

Union president Betty Simmons-Talley says the Columbus School Employees Association voted 937-654 on Monday against a proposal that would have increased health-care costs. She says the vote also authorizes a walkout.

The contract offered pay raises of 1.65 percent in the first year and 1.75 percent in the second year.

The union must file a notice with the State Employment Relations Board at least 10 days before going on strike. A school district spokesman declined comment.