TriMet deal comes amid union leadership change


Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757 and TriMet announced tentative agreement on a new contract June 25, but after the timing of the agreement and a rapid ratification timeline drew pushback from union members, an in-person ratification that was scheduled for June 29 was postponed. 

The four-year agreement was finalized by the union’s outgoing president Shirley Block one week after members voted in new leadership, and the ratification vote was initially set to take place two days before the new president Bruce Hansen was sworn in. The existing collective bargaining agreement doesn’t expire until Nov. 30.

The two sides have been negotiating since January over a new agreement for 2,664 workers at TriMet.

Hansen criticized what he said was a rush to approve the agreement before he took office, and its four-year duration, which would give him no opportunity to negotiate for the local’s biggest bargaining unit during his three-year term of office. He also questioned the choice to schedule an in-person ratification vote at the Monarch Hotel in Clackamas with three days’ notice.

“The membership made themselves clear they do not believe they have enough time to vote on the CBA,” Block said, announcing postponement of the ratification vote. 

If ratified, it would:

  • Increase wages 13.6% over four years, starting with a 4% increase Dec. 1;
  • Increase TriMet’s contribution to employee retirement savings accounts by 2% of gross wages, bringing the total to 10%;
  • Provide a new $150-a-month childcare subsidy;
  • Reimburse employees up to $5,250 a year for continuing education tuition for a career-related degree program;
  • Add extra weeks of paid vacation for the most senior employees. Employees with 15 years at TriMet would get six weeks a year and those with 24 years would get seven weeks. 

No new date had been set for ratification when this issue went to press on July 3. 

CORRECTION 7/5/24: An earlier version of this story reported that the new agreement would give full-time operators the option to work a four-day schedule with 10 hour shifts. That was based on a list of highlights posted on the union Facebook page, but TriMet spokesperson Roberta Alstadt says that item, though discussed, did not make it into the tentative agreement being referred for ratification.


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