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Six hundred CUPE school board employees employed by the Edmonton public school board ratified a new collective agreement.

The two-year deal, approved by both sides June 30 provides for wage increases of three per cent when the contract takes effect September 1 and a further two per cent in 1999. It also extends until 2003 a clause that prevents the board from contracting out jobs.

A tentative agreement was reached after only four bargaining meetings, the quickest round of negotiations the two sides have experienced,

The workers are members of CUPE Local 474.