First Major Union Deal Passed Since Issue 2

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A state legislative panel has approved a three-year deal with Ohio's largest state employee union, in the first major bargaining agreement to follow the defeat of the
state's contentious collective bargaining law.

The controlling board agreed Monday to extend the current contract of the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association until 2015. The union representing 34,000 state workers struck the agreement earlier this month, crediting the successful ballot fight against a union-limiting law with strengthening its bargaining position.

The deal continues to require employees to contribute 15 percent toward their health care.

It maintains many other contract provisions but not furlough days or freezes in personal leave effective in the first two years of the pact.

Base wages wouldn't increase, but some newer employees would continue to qualify for automatic raises.