The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) announced the ratification of the four-year labor agreement with the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1560. During the board’s meeting, the commissioners unanimously voted to ratify the resolution that granted the RTA’s CEO, Alex Z. Wiggins, the authority to sign the new labor agreement, which includes a pay and benefits package that keeps RTA operators among the highest paid in the southwest and southeast regions.
The agreement between ATU and RTA covers 518 represented employees, including bus, streetcar, and paratransit operators, dispatchers, reservationists, clerks, transit tellers, transit information operators, router editors, and training instructors. The four-year agreement is effective through June 30, 2025.
The RTA and ATU began negotiations in Spring 2021, reaching a tentative agreement on May 5. The agreement was ratified by ATU membership on June 23, with the RTA board adopting the resolution on June 28, which gave the CEO the authority to ratify the contract. Per the agreement, ATU represented employees will now receive:
- With the top 2022 salary at $29.41 per hour plus ample opportunities for overtime, RTA transit operators are among the highest paid in the nation.
- Increased yearly safe driving bonus from $250 to $400 for operators who maintain safe driving record for the calendar year.
- Reduced out of pocket health care expenses by capping employee insurance premiums at 20%.
- A 3% increase in employer match in retirement benefits resulting in an increase from 3% to 6%.
- Juneteenth and Memorial Day were added as paid holidays, totaling 13 days per year. This includes one personal holiday.
- Additional $1,100 in COVID-19 pay, capping at $3,100.
“The RTA workforce has demonstrated time and time again their commitment to maintaining mobility through the most challenging circumstances including the pandemic and our recent overactive hurricane seasons,” said Alex Z. Wiggins, RTA CEO. “I am proud of the agreement made between the RTA and the ATU as it honors this commitment of our essential employees by investing in competitive wages and benefits that make the RTA one of the most desirable employers in the region.”