Arbitrator selects agency’s offer, taking effect immediately
Arbitrator David Gaba today ruled in TriMet’s favor, meaning that the agency’s Last Best Offer takes effect as the union contract effective immediately. The new contract is retroactive to when the previous contract with the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 757 expired, November 30, 2009. This new contract expires November 30, 2012.
After the ruling, TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane issued the following statement:
“Today’s ruling is terrific news for the entire region, especially our riders as we were facing another $5 million in service cuts if we had lost the arbitration. It provides quality benefits to our union employees, while beginning to reign in unsustainable health care benefits. This is the first step in realigning our benefits to be in line with the market. It’s a good first step, but we’re in a marathon. We face many years and several contracts to truly make our benefits financially sustainable. Until we reach that point, TriMet will continue to face financial challenges.”
Randy Stedman, TriMet’s Executive Director of Labor Relations and Human Resources, added the following statement:
“This has been a long, drawn out ordeal. With the new leadership of the ATU, I look forward to working with President Bruce Hansen as we will soon be in negotiation again on the next contract.”