July 16, 2012

TriMet wins union contract dispute

The arbitrator in the contract dispute between TriMet and the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 757 ruled in TriMet’s favor, meaning that the agency’s Last Best Offer takes effect as the union contract effective immediately. The new contract is retroactive to when the previous contract with the ATU Local 757 expired, Nov. 30, 2009. This new contract expires in 2012.

After the ruling, TriMet GM Neil McFarlane issued the following statement:

“Today’s ruling is terrific news for the entire region, especially our riders as we were facing another $5 million in service cuts if we had lost the arbitration. It provides quality benefits to our union employees, while beginning to reign in unsustainable health care benefits. This is the first step in realigning our benefits to be in line with the market. It’s a good first step, but we’re in a marathon. We face many years and several contracts to truly make our benefits financially sustainable. Until we reach that point, TriMet will continue to face financial challenges.”

Randy Stedman, TriMet’s executive director of human resources and labor relations added the following statement:

“This has been a long, drawn out ordeal. With the new leadership of the ATU, I look forward to working with President Bruce Hansen as we will soon be in negotiation again on the next contract.”

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