Transit- AC Transit deal reached; no strike – SFGate

Posted: August 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

Aug. 7, 2013

AC Transit and its bus drivers and other employees avoided a potential Wednesday strike when the two sides reached a tentative deal on a three-year contract.

Officials with the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 192 and the bus system agreed to the deal shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday, less than two hours before 1,625 drivers, mechanics, dispatchers, clerical and other workers had said they would walk off the job.

“This agreement protects workers, helps riders and keeps service running,” said Yvonne Williams, president of Local 192.

AC Transit General Manager David Armijo said, “This was a long and often intense negotiation, and there are no winners or losers in this outcome. We are happy we were able to get through the process without any disruption in service.”

The agreement calls for a 9.5 percent pay increase over three years. The union was seeking 9.75 percent.

AC Transit also wanted workers to begin paying a portion of their health care premiums. Both sides have agreed employees will pay $70 a month in the first year of the deal, $140 a month in the second year and $180 in the third year.

A bus driver’s current base salary is $55,000, but health and other benefits bring total compensation to about $103,000 annually, said AC Transit spokesman Clarence Johnson. AC Transit workers had been operating under a contract that expired July 1.

A strike would have affected roughly 181,000 daily bus riders in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. The deal was reached just two days after a strike by BART unions was at least temporarily averted when Gov. Jerry Brown intervened.

Union officials said the agreement would go before members for a ratification vote later this month.

via AC Transit deal reached; no strike – SFGate.

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