TriMet and ATU reach tentative agreement on bus operators’ hours of service

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TriMet and the ATU have reached a tentative agreement regarding the hours of service issue for bus operator. While the ATU has issued a news release, there are some inaccuracies. Here are the key provisions:

The service day definition for bus operators will  now match the Oregon Administrative Rules stating that a day begins at the time an employee reports to work after having at least the required number of consecutive hours off, which will be 10 hours for most bus operators, and 9 hours for operators assigned to the extra board. This is the same approach we apply for rail operators although the minimum consecutive hours off at rail is 7 hours. This is a major improvement, and one TriMet has been seeking for the last 2 1/2 years because it means a bus operator must have 9 or 10 hours off after they have concluded their assignment, rather than being able to take just a few hours off.

About 80 percent of Bus operators sign regular work and 20 percent sign extra board work who do relief or fill-in work.

This temporary agreement is effective after the agreement is signed, and will be effective until a new contract is in place.

TriMet is now drafting a Memorandum of Understanding of the agreement.

We will continue to meet with the union to review other changes that may be possible.

Regarding the tentative agreement, TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane issued the following statement: “After two days of negotiations, we’re pleased that we have reached an change in policy. It eliminates all the ‘double-back’ shifts, where a bus operator could work some 20 hours in a 24 hour period with limited time off. This will improve the safety of our operation for our employees and for our riders.”