TriMet also proposes two additional mediation dates with the ATU in June
TriMet today presented its Final Offer to the ATU, the State Employment Relations Board (ERB) and posted it online. The Final Offer and the associated costs of our proposal were due today to ERB after TriMet reluctantly declared impasse as there has been no headway on the core economic issues of healthcare and wages. TriMet’s Final Offer includes proposed contract language on 15 substantive issues.
Our Final Offer is based on TriMet’s 2009-2012 contract proposal that was awarded by Arbitrator Gaba and upheld by ERB. The ATU has appealed the 2012 award to the court of appeals. In today’s letter to ERB, TriMet’s Executive Director of Labor Relations and Human Resources Randy Stedman also petitioned ERB to initiate the Binding Interest Arbitration, the final phase of the collective bargaining process outlined by state statute. Union employees cannot strike, and instead, if there is no agreement prior to binding arbitration, an arbitrator is selected and it’s up to the arbitrator to select one of the offers; the arbitrator cannot combine elements from both offers.
Since the last contract expired on Nov. 30, 2012, TriMet has worked hard to negotiate a competitive contract, including participating in 37 negotiation sessions and two mediation sessions. In order to move forward with an orderly resolution of a contract that will be fair to employees and riders, we unfortunately had no other option than to declare impasse on May 14. TriMet remains open to further negotiation with the ATU and has offered two additional mediation dates: June 12 and 24. The ATU has not indicated whether it will accept.