Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757 is into its sixth month of bargaining with the Lane Transit District, which provides public transportation throughout much of Lane County. About 225 workers are covered by the contract, including bus operators, mechanics, customer service representatives and more.
The bargaining teams are in alignment on two of four priority issues for ATU, and they’re getting closer on the remainders, said Bill Bradley, an ATU executive board member who’s on the bargaining team.
The two sides are in agreement on maintaining insurance and pension benefits as is, but haven’t yet agreed on wages or overtime. On wages, ATU is pushing for a raise of more than 20% over four years, frontloaded so workers get higher raises earlier. The union also wants to end forced overtime. Bradley says ATU and management are close to agreement on both.
They’ve been bargaining since August. The previous contract expired June 30, but because of management turnover at Lane Transit District, bargaining was delayed until well after that.
Forced overtime is a decades-long problem for Lane Transit workers. Bradley says it’s not uncommon for workers to be called in on their weekends and to accrue disciplinary points if they decline. In the union’s view, management has used forced overtime to avoid staffing up appropriately. Previous contracts have tightened up the language, only allowing one day of forced overtime on a weekend, for example, but now ATU is working to end it altogether.
“That would be a huge win for our members,” Bradley said. “They actually get to have a weekend and know that their weekend was safe and protected from being required to work.”
LATE-BREAKING UPDATE: As this edition went to press, word arrived that the two sides had reached a tentative agreement to send to members for approval, but no details were available.