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WGA members, CBS ok 3-year pact

Members of the Writers Guild of America overwhelmingly approved a new, three-year contract with CBS last week at elections held in L.A., Gotham, D.C. and Chicago.

Some 92% of voting members cast ballots in approval of the new contract, with 8% voting against.

Representatives for the WGA and CBS agreed on the three-year deal two weeks ago. Both sides negotiated almost around-the-clock in an attempt to avert a strike. The old contract expired at midnight March 1. The new deal was settled on March 4.

Under the package, 275 employees at the CBS television and radio networks in the affected cities will immediately get a 3 1/2% raise retroactive to March 2. A year from then members will get another 3% increase and then a year after another 3 1/2%.

The agreement also provides health benefits for temporary workers and increased acting editor fees.

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