MCTS Offers Transit Union a New Contract; Union to Vote next Week

On Friday Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 998 resumed negotiations with Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) with the assistance of a federal mediator.

According to a statement released by James Macon, President of ATU Local 998, MCTS offered the union a two year proposal with, "language on part-timers that was significantly worse than their previous proposal."

The statement from Macon says,

"MCTS insists on increasing the number of lower wage, part-time transit workers, but does not want to limit the number of hours they work. We see this as an attempt to exploit Milwaukee workers by allowing them to work full-time hours without any benefits."

According to Macon, increasing the number of part-time transit workers would limit contributions to the pension, threatening the ability of hard-working Milwaukee County transit workers to retire with dignity, adequate pension, and health care coverage.

MCTS released the details of the contract which include quarterly cost of living (COLA) increases without a cap (1% to 2% a year), on top of COLA increase, a ½% pay increase when contract is ratified, another 1% pay increase on April 1, 2016, senior mechanics will also receive an additional $.25 an hour raise.

The deal also includes a slight increase in health care and proposes no more than 45 part-time operators and a promise that no full-time driver will be laid off and replaced with a part-time driver.

The union will vote on the proposal on September 30 but the bargaining committee will be urging members to vote no.

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