(CNN) -- The NFL referees union formally ratified Saturday a contract with the league that had been agreed upon earlier this week.
The approval marks an official end to the lockout, said spokesman Greg Aiello of the National Football League.
Even before the formal vote, the officials returned to work in Thursday night's game in Baltimore between the Ravens and the Cleveland Browns. The Ravens won, 23-16.
The new eight-year contract -- the longest ever for officials, according to the NFL -- gives the union referees a pay bump from $149,000 a year in 2011 to $173,000 in 2013. The pay will rise to $205,000 by 2019.
NFL referees already returned to work in Thursday night's game
Saturday's ratification was a formality, establishing an eight-year contract, the longest ever
Union refs' salary will rise: $149k in 2001 to $173k in 2013, topping out at $205k by 2019
The league will be allowed to hire additional referees so that they can be trained