The new CUPE contract for about 3,000 school support staff outside of Halifax has passed its first test — by a landslide.

Annapolis Valley Regional School Board workers were the first over the weekend to vote on the contract and 98 per cent voted in favour.

The five-year deal includes 2.9 per cent annual raises from April 2007 to April 2009. There are one per cent raises in April of 2010 and 2011.

CUPE hospital workers, about 4,100 outside of Halifax, will begin voting on their offer today. That contract includes a 2.9 per cent raise backdated to April 2009 and one per cent raises over the next two years.

Contracts for both groups of workers were reached early last week. A Monday-morning strike deadline had been set and in the case of hospital workers, a strike was actually on for about 90 minutes before the union accepted the most recent government offer.