Labor agreement to run through November 2019; increases wages and allows agency to contract for much-needed restoration of light rail vehicles
TriMet’s Board of Directors ratified a new labor contract between TriMet and its union employees, represented by the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 757, on Wednesday, December 13, 2017. The new Collective Bargaining Agreement covers a three-year period from December 2016 through November 2019.
The contract will cost approximately $2.243 million over the term of the agreement. Most of the financial investments focus on lower-paid, lower-tenured employees. The contract retains all healthcare costs concessions negotiated in the previous contract. TriMet does not anticipate a fare hike due to the new agreement.
TriMet negotiated with ATU Local 757 leadership for some ten months before reaching a compromise. While the final agreement contains approximately 40 of the ATU’s proposals, it includes one major agency proposal that leadership finds vital to serving TriMet riders: the authority to hire an outside vendor to provide ground-up remanufacturing of the fleet of MAX light rail vehicles. The process will extend the life of the fleet, increase MAX reliability and allow TriMet to respond to demands for additional service despite a severe shortage of Journey Worker mechanics. The contract also includes changes beneficial to TriMet regarding continuity of service and a two-year initial bid requirement for Junior Partspersons, along with a handful of housekeeping matters. ATU also agreed to withdraw an Unfair Labor Practice charge as part of the deal.
Among the key provisions for union employees:
- Wage increase:
- 3.0 percent (12/2016, retroactive)
- 3.25 percent (12/2017)
- 3.25 percent (12/2018).
- One-step increase resulting in an approximate 6.6 percent wage hike on top of the general wage increase for most of the 110 Service Workers.
- One-time payment of $1,000 to 273 Journey Workers.
- Increase in night shift differentials for several classifications
- Retain status quo on healthcare benefits, except a no-cost change to the supplemental retiree healthcare plan.
TriMet reached a tentative agreement with ATU Local 757 leadership on November 10, 2017 and union workers overwhelming approved the contract on November 28, with 94.7 percent of votes in support. Roughly 85% of TriMet’s nearly 3,000-employee workforce are ATU 757 members.
The full agreement and additional information can be found at trimet.org/newcontract.