Twin Cities transit workers to decide May 1 on contract
MINNEAPOLIS - Members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1005 will decide May 1 whether to approve a tentative settlement reached last weekend with the Metropolitan Council, which operates Metro Transit.
Details of the agreement are not being released, but the Local 1005 Executive Board is recommending ratification, Local 1005 President Michelle Sommers said.
Members will gather Sunday, May 1, at 11 a.m. at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium in downtown St. Paul to view and discuss the offer and start balloting. Voting will continue until 4 p.m.
For members unable to attend the St. Paul meeting, arrangements have been made to vote at the Minneapolis Labor Center, the union said.
The agreement covers approximately 2,300 bus drivers, mechanics and other workers. Contract negotiations, which began last summer, have been taking place as the Legislature considers massive cuts in funding for transit that could lead to job losses and higher fares for riders. Local 1005 is part of a broad-based coalition advocating support for a quality public transit system.
Metro Transit workers approve new contract
MINNEAPOLIS - Nine months after their last contract expired, members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1005, which represents Metro Transit drivers, mechanics and other staff, have voted to approve a two-year agreement with the Metropolitan Council.
The contract was approved by a 78 to 22 percent margin, the union announced Monday.
The pact covers about 2,300 employees of Metro Transit, which is operated by the Met Council. Local 1005 members voted Sunday at Roy Wilkins Auditorium in downtown St. Paul.
Michelle Sommers, president of ATU Local 1005, said the approved contract reflects a trade off: members agreed to a two-year wage freeze in exchange for seeing no changes to their health insurance plans.
“It’s not a great offer, but we needed to keep health care the same,” Sommers said. “That’s a big issue to us.”
Sommers said the local’s executive board recommended members vote to ratify the contract, the terms of which will be applied retroactively to Aug. 1, when the previous contract expired.
Negotiations between ATU Local 1005 and the Met Council took place as Republican majorities in the Legislature proposed deep cuts in funding for public transit – cuts the union says would lead to job losses and higher fares for riders.