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August 10, 2023

New Labor Contract Ratified by Metro Transit and ATU

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Metro Transit Chief Operating Officer Charles Stewart, ATU Local 788 President Reginald Howard, BSD President & CEO Taulby Roach, BSD Board Chair Herb SimmonsThe Bi-State Development Board of Commissioners approved two new labor contracts today with Metro Transit operators, maintenance, and clerical workers represented by the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 788. The three-year contracts are the result of more than a year of negotiations between the two parties and call for a base pay increase, a $7,000 signing bonus, and other new benefits.

“Our frontline employees and their negotiating team with ATU Local 788 worked tirelessly for these contracts, and we are very grateful they have now been ratified by both the members and the full Bi-State Development Board of Commissioners,” said Taulby Roach, President and CEO of Bi-State Development, which operates Metro Transit for the region. “We are all ready to move forward so we can focus on better serving our community with a renewed sense of pride and purpose.”

The agreements, approved by ATU members on Monday, August 7, call for pay increases of 3% this year and 3% next year with a $7,000 signing bonus. The collective bargaining agreements cover approximately 1,100 employees. A portion of the signing bonus would go into employees’ 401(k) retirement plans. The salary increases are in addition to a 5% increase retroactive to July 1, 2022, that the two sides agreed on last fall, which set the stage for contract talks to continue on a longer-term deal. The previous contracts covering MetroBus and MetroLink operators, maintenance workers, and clerical workers expired in June 2022.

The new agreements further stipulate the terms of the ratification bonus, noting that $3,000 of it can be added to a paycheck or can be placed in a 401k tax-advantaged retirement account, while the remaining $4,000 will go toward a 401k tax-advantaged retirement account set up by Bi-State Development. The 401k yearly contributions are in addition to the covered members’ regular pension contributions. In addition to base wage increases, the contract offers new pay differentials that could increase pay by up to 7% for qualified employees. Two-thirds of all MetroBus and MetroLink operators currently qualify for at least one pay differential.  The advantages spelled out in the Operator and Maintenance contract are part of Metro’s initiative to provide a competitive wage and benefit package that significantly increases operator take-home pay and accelerates the steps and progression to top salary.

“I would like to thank the members of ATU Local 788, my ATU negotiating team and Metro for working with us after a long struggle in getting this contract across the finish line,” said Reginald M. Howard, ATU Local 788 President BA.

“The ATU Local 788 negotiating team put a considerable amount of time and effort into working with us on these contracts, and we are pleased with the outcome of those negotiations that will strengthen our ability to retain and attract the best team members possible to safely serve our customers with higher quality service,” said Chuck Stewart, Chief Operating Officer for Metro Transit. “We value the hard work our team members deliver every day to serve this community and look forward to working together under the new agreements so we can put the focus back on our customers who rely on public transit.”

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