Transit Employees to Get Raises Under New Contract |

Posted: August 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

By John Chambliss THE LEDGER Published: Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 2:40 p.m.

LAKELAND | Unionized Lakeland Area Mass Transit workers will receive an average 2 percent raise for the next three years, according to a three-year contract approved Wednesday.

The 103 bus drivers and maintenance workers will begin receiving the raises Monday.

It’s the first contract for the union, represented by the Transport Workers of America.

Mass Transit Board Chairman Keith Merritt and members Sam Johnson, a county commissioner, and Don Selvage, a city commissioner, approved the agreement.

Lakeland Mayor Gow Fields, a board member, arrived after the vote. Board member Bob English, a county commissioner, is on vacation.

Non-union employees will receive the same raises as unionized employees.

Overall, the union and non-union raises amount to $190,000 over three years, said Tom Phillips, executive director of the Lakeland Area Mass Transit District. The union raises account for $140,000 over three years.

“In these unprecedented economic times, we’re glad to be able to budget $140,000,” Phillips said after the meeting.

Both Kevin Smith of the Transport Workers Union of America and Phillips said negotiations were cordial.

“No one was happy but everyone was satisfied,” Phillips said.

“It’s a good, solid agreement,” Smith said.

“I have to hand it to Tom (Phillips).”

The union did make some concessions.

Union officials wanted only a two-year agreement; they will no longer be paid for jury duty; and union members whose wages are garnished for child support will be required to pay a processing fee. Previously, the agency paid the fee.

The union also adopted the agency’s new discipline policy that outlines employees’ grievance procedure.

The workers voted to unionize in October 2011. The vote was 47-26, and 88 people were eligible to vote.

[ John Chambliss can be reached at or 863-802-7588. ]

via Transit Employees to Get Raises Under New Contract |


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