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LIRR Union Members Vote To Approve New Contract

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Members of the unions representing most Long Island Rail Road workers have approved the four-year contract that was negotiated last month.

The unions reached a deal with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on July 17.

Talks had broken down and a strike appeared inevitable until Gov. Andrew Cuomo stepped in and urged both sides to reach a deal.

The new contract provides a 17 percent pay increase over 6 and a half years. It also requires workers to begin paying for health care at a rate of about 2 percent of their weekly wages.

Before the deal had been reached, the unions had been working without a contract since 2010.

The MTA said it is still in negotiations with three smaller unions.

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