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CUPE members working for Ontario Hydro have ratified a new agreement which calls for a five per cent wage increase over two years and benefit improvements as well as protection for union agreements when the public utility restructures.

The agreement includes a 2.5 per cent increase this year retroactive to April 1 and 2.5 next year. The benefits include a streamlined grievance procedure and improvements to the pension plan.

As well, the deal includes the establishment of five new collective agreements to be implemented after the public utility restructures itself. They will become effective September 1, 1998 and will be created for the Ontario Hydro Electricity Company.

Although Local 1000 members will remain in their current pension plan, the administration of the plan remains an issue. For the time being, management will administer the plan, but Local 1000 has made clear it will seek joint administration during public hearings scheduled for August.

The fifteen thousand workers are members of CUPE Local 1000. The president of the local is John Murphy.