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State Employees Strike Averted

Sacramento, CA — Over the weekend California agreed on a contract to avoid a threatened strike by thousands of state government workers.

The deal that was reached Saturday followed a 72-hour bargaining session. It would grant 87,000 employees their first raise in nearly three years, but it still needs approval from the workers, who range from Department of Motor Vehicles clerks to nurses to prison cooks.

Earlier last week, the Service Employees International Union said 85% of its members had voted to authorize a strike if they didn´t get a raise.

The preliminary contract includes a 3.5% raise this year and another raise next year. The workers had gone without a pay hike as the state struggled with record deficits. The new contract will cost the state more than $500 million over the next two years.