Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) President Forrest Claypool in announcing a tentative agreement with multiple trade unions that will provide the agency more flexibility for CTA construction and maintenance work and realize more than $6.5 million in cost savings.
The five-year tentative agreement covers over 1,200 workers in 12 unions: IBEW Local #134, IBEW Local #9, Plumbers Local #130, Carpenter’s Local #1027, Machinists District #8, Painters District Council No. 14, Bricklayers Local #21, Sheetmetal Workers Local #73, Pipefitters’ Local #597, Boilermakers Local Lodge #1247, Teamsters Local #700 and Machinists Local #701.
The new agreement includes provisions that will allow the CTA more flexibility to schedule work crews and lower overtime costs. The new agreement provides for afternoon and evening shifts, which will be paid at straight time instead of overtime, and there will be greater flexibility in shift starting times. These are changes that will save around $750,000 annually.
The tentative agreement also includes several “work-sharing” provisions in which members of different trades can work together on specific work irrespective of jurisdiction, thereby providing more flexibility at work sites. It also calls for replacing two paid holidays with one personal day and greater flexibility in the use of vacation time — a savings of more than $565,000 annually.
In addition, changes in health-care plans — the first in 10 years — are expected to generate as much as $5 million in savings annually while at the same time maintaining high levels of coverage along with greater health-care options for employees.
The local unions’ membership and the Chicago Transit Board are expected to ratify the tentative agreement later this year.