Workers with Canadian Blood Services in Halifax have “overwhelmingly” voted in favour of a new contract with their employer, the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union announced yesterday.

The new four-year deal, which includes better wages and improved employee leaves for family illness and bereavement, was ratified by 96 per cent of union members who cast their ballot last Friday.

Severance packages improvements are also an important change, an NSGEU news release says, because Canadian Blood Services has announced plans to close blood donor testing here in 2011, “which has the potential to effect 50 per cent of membership.”

The tentative agreement was reached June 24 but NSGEU Local 43 had been without a contract since Jan. 1 of last year, the release said.