Service workers at the University of Minnesota have approved a new contract, averting a threatened strike by 1,500 employees.

The contract calls for a $15 minimum wage for university employees in food service, animal labs, waste management and building and grounds crews, according to their union, Teamsters Local 320. Those at the top of the pay scale will receive a 2 percent pay increase.

The union had threatened a strike in November, after months of negotiating without an agreement. Two weeks ago, union officials said they were submitting the university's final offer to members for a vote without a formal endorsement.

The union issued a brief announcement Tuesday that the contract was approved.

The vote was "a victory on many pressing issues," said Brian Aldes, the union's secretary-treasurer. But he called on the university to continue to work with the union to address concerns about working conditions.