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Transit accords.

Transit accords

In Minneapolis--St. Paul, MN, 2,000 employees accepted a 3-year contract proposal, averting a scheduled work stoppage that would have affected 250,000 commuters. The contract between the Metropolitan Transit Commission and the Amalgamated Transit Union provides for wage increases of 3.25 percent retroactive to May 1, 3.5 percent in May 1990, and 3.75 percent in May 1991. After the final increase, top-scale drivers' earnings will be $32,573 a year.

In a change in the pay progression schedule, new employees will be paid at 55 percent of the top rate during their first 12 months on the job, 60 percent during the next 12 months, and will move to the top rate after a total of 36 months. Previously, new workers were paid at 60 percent during the first 6 months, 70 percent for the next 12 months, and the top rate after 42 months.

Other terms included establishment of 5 minutes of paid time for drivers to prepare to take over bus routes on the street, and 6 weeks of paid vacation after 29 years of service (previously, 30 years).

In Boston, MA, 4,400 transit workers represented by Local 589 of the Amalgamated Transit Union were covered by a 3-year arbitration award. The award resulted from a provision of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's controlling statute calling for arbitration to end bargaining impasses. The award provides for wage increases of 6.6 percent retroactive to April 1, 1988, 6.3 percent retroactive to April 1, 1989, and 6 percent on April 1, 1990. Drivers at the top rate, who had been paid $14.63 an hour, will receive $17.57 after the 1990 wage increase.

Benefit changes include a 1-day cut in the 2-day waiting period for sick leave, 1 day of paid personal leave each year for employees using less than half their sick leave, a $240 annual payment to employees who choose to be covered by their spouses health insurance, and rewards to employees equal to 25 percent of savings resulting from their reporting of health care billing errors.

There also was a revamping of benefits for the 1,100 part-time workers covered by the award. Part-timers working at least 24 hours a week now receive 12 annual paid holidays (previously 6), sick leave and personal leave, $6,000 life insurance, and individual health insurance fully paid by the authority, which will pay a proportionate amount for employees working fewer than 24 hours a week.

Similar provisions were negotiated by 14 other unions in contracts for 2,800 employees.
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Title Annotation:Developments in Industrial Relations
Author:Ruben, George
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Oct 1, 1989
Words:429
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