January 13, 2012

Veolia's Nassau County employees reach labor agreement

Members of Transport Workers Union Local 252 in Nassau County, N.Y., overwhelmingly ratified a five-year contract with Veolia Transportation for the nation's largest contracted transit system.

TWU members voted 450 to 68 to approve the contract.

TWU Local 252 represents about 800 employees working at Nassau Inter-County Express, or NICE, which is owned by Nassau County, and operated by Veolia Transportation under contract to the county. Members are mainly bus operators and mechanics who recently became employees of Veolia Transportation when it assumed operations of the former Long Island Bus on Jan. 1, 2012.

Prior to January 1, 2012, these TWU members were employees of the New York MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority), which operated Long Island Bus for more than 39 years under contract with Nassau County. As Veolia assumed responsibility for all aspects of transit operations under contract to the county, Veolia made job offers to every eligible TWU member who had worked on Long Island Bus and applied to NICE.

Last year, Nassau County decided to end its agreement with the MTA and through an RFP process selected Veolia with which it has formed a public-private operating partnership to run the county bus system. This partnership delivers the best of both worlds: public sector oversight and control with elected leaders from the county determining policies, budgets and overall direction, combined with Veolia managing all aspects of operations, bringing its expertise, technology, operational processes and efficiencies to improve performance.

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