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ST. PAUL, Minn. - Thousands of Minnesota state employees have ratified a new contract that includes across-the-board raises but higher health insurance contributions from workers.

The Minnesota Association of Professional Employees announced Monday that 97 percent of members who voted wanted the deal ratified. MAPE represents nearly 13,000 workers.

The deal must still get legislative signoff, with initial action expected within the next month. The agreement calls for 3 percent raises in each year of the two-year contract.

A larger union has come to similar terms during its contract bargaining. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 5 has yet to say how its members have voted. That deal covers more than 17,000 employees.

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