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N.E. janitors sign four-year contract

New England janitors involved in a contract dispute that led them to the brink of a strike voted to ratify a new contract on Saturday, overwhelmingly approving an agreement that increases the number of full-time jobs, boosts wages, and establishes a four-hour minimum shift.

A major demand of the 14,000 workers represented by the Service Employees International Union Local 615 was more full-time jobs — and the benefits that go with them. The four-year agreement with the Maintenance Contractors of New England raises the number of full-time posts by at least 680 — to more than 5,200 in Greater Boston. Currently, two-thirds of union members work fewer than the 30 hours a week required for health insurance.

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In addition, all janitorial work at buildings of more than 450,000 square feet constructed after the contract is ratified in the Boston and Cambridge area will be full time.

Katie Johnston can be reached at kjohnston@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @ktkjohnston.
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