A strong majority of union members of the Milton-Freewater Unified School District voted "yes" on a three-year contract today that may give certified employees an immediate 3.5-percent salary boost and classified workers a 3-percent raise.

School board members now will vote on the tentative agreement at 7 p.m. Tuesday night during their regular public meeting at McLoughlin High School.

Of the near 280 employees affected, 84 percent participated in the vote, with 87 percent in favor and 13 percent opposed, according to Laurie Hackney, former chair of the employee negotiating committee.

"It was quite emotional toward the end, because we did start at the beginning with some pretty high expectations," Hackney said.

She said, in her opinion, although it took a year to get to this point, the association has "turned a corner."

"In the next negotiation process, we need to have this momentum going," she said.

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