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Canadian Press, staff reach tentative deal

About 240 CP staff have been working under an expired contract since the end of 2011.

Geoff George for The Globe and Mail/geoff george The Globe and Mail

The Canadian Press has reached a tentative contract with its union that will see its journalists and support workers get a 4-per-cent raise by the end of its three-year term.

About 240 CP staff have been working under an expired contract since the end of 2011. The company, which had been operated as a co-operative, is reinventing itself as a for-profit news company after being purchased in the fall of 2010 by the publisher of the Toronto Star; the parent company of Gesca Ltée., which operates La Presse of Montreal; and The Globe and Mail.

The deal maintains shift premiums and vacations entitlements, but employees will see higher premiums for health and long-term disability coverage.

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The company's pension plan – which was $34.4-million in the red when the contract expired – is being topped up under a 13-year plan funded out of the company's revenues. That arrangement will stand, although the Canadian Media Guild said there would be "temporary relief to the employer on interest payments."

The ratification vote is to take place before the end of the month.

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