King County Executive Dow Constantine and the leadership of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587, which represents approximately 3,800 Metro employees, today announced they have reached tentative agreement on a new three-year contract that includes no wage increases or cost-of-living adjustment in the first year.
King County Executive Dow Constantine and the leadership of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587, which represents approximately 3,800 Metro employees, today announced they have reached tentative agreement on a new three-year contract that includes no cost-of-living adjustment in the first year.
“This tentative agreement to forgo a cost-of-living increase for 2011 represents a significant commitment on the part of the union that represents the County’s largest bargaining unit,” said Executive Constantine. “I appreciate the hard work of the negotiators on both sides.”
“We have reached a tentative agreement that we feel we can take to our membership with a ‘do-pass’ recommendation,” said Paul J. Bachtel, President of ATU Local 587. “Our negotiations have been productive, given the lack of stable funding for transit in Washington State. On behalf of the officers and membership of the union, I thank the Executive for the leadership of his labor team.”
The tentative agreement calls for no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for the first year of the contract. If approved, the three-year contract would run from November 1, 2010 to October 31, 2013.
Mr. Bachtel said ATU’s bargaining team will share the full terms of the contract settlement with union members at a closed-door meeting in November, with no further details to be released to the public at this time.
At the start of negotiations, both parties agreed to ground rules that prohibit announcements to the press about the progress of negotiations. The parties have made an exception to the ground rules with this joint release.
Local 587 has approximately 3,800 members who operate and maintain a fleet of 1,400 buses, Sound Transit’s Link Light Rail, and the South Lake Union Streetcar. Under state law, this collective bargaining unit is eligible for interest arbitration, so that the contract could be decided by an outside arbitrator if both sides had reached an impasse in negotiations.
The Amalgamated Transit Union is the largest labor organization representing transit workers in the United States and Canada. Its membership is composed of bus drivers, light rail operators, maintenance and clerical personnel and other transit employees.