Vote pushed back: Union leaders say bus drivers to vote on latest contract offer Oct. 5th

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MILWAUKEE — The members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 998 will not vote on the latest contract offer from the Milwaukee County Transit System until Monday, October 5th. That word came in a news release on Tuesday morning, September 29th.

Union leaders originally planned to have their members vote on the contract on Wednesday, September 30th. But they indicated in the news release that they want to give every member adequate time to make an informed decision on the latest contract proposal.

Details of the contract (according to MCTS):

Increased wages

  • 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

Slight increase in health care costs

  • Monthly premiums would increase:
    •  Individual plans – from $95 a month (2015) to an estimated $102 a month (2016) and $117 a month (2017)
    • Family plans – from $246 a month (2015) to an estimated $266 a month (2016) and $306 a month (2017)
  • No change to deductibles in 2016 and a deductible increase in 2017 from $500 to $750 (individual plan)
  • MCTS will pay 100% of health costs after deductibles are met

Part-time drivers

  • MCTS proposes no more than 45 part-time drivers
  • No full-time driver will be laid off and replaced with a part-time driver

James Macon, President of ATU Local 998 released the following statement on Friday:

“Today MCTS offered us a 2 year proposal with language on part-timers that was significantly worse than their previous proposal. 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.”

ATU Local 998 leaders say they’ll hold a member-only “Contract Information Session” on Wednesday, September 30th at their union hall.

Union leaders say this session will ensure every member is able to make an informed decision when the union votes on the contract on Monday.

The “Contract Information Session” is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

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