BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Charlie Baker's administration has approved a new contract that aims to increase pay for some 35,000 home care workers in Massachusetts to $15 per hour by 2018.

The agreement announced Friday with the union representing personal care attendants calls for a 30-cent raise on July 1, followed by a new round of negotiations to begin no later than July 1, with the "mutual goal" of reaching the $15 per hour wage.

The union says Massachusetts caregivers would be the first in the nation to reach that level.

Baker said in a statement that personal care attendants perform an important service by caring for seniors and disabled people in their homes.

As a result of the agreement, the union called off plans to picket outside the Statehouse next week.