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(Source: Progressive Railroading 10/13/2020)

Since October 2019, TriMet and ATU have made no headway on major issues, agency officials said. Photo – TriMet Facebook

The Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) last week declared an impasse in contract negotiations with the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757 (ATU), which  represents more than 2,700 TriMet employees.

Since October 2019, TriMet and ATU have completed 15 negotiation sessions and four mediation sessions with no headway on major issues, TriMet officials said in a press release.

The most significant roadblocks to a contract have been ATU’s requests for more than $100 million over a three-year contract in addition to wage increases as TriMet’s revenue plummets; continuation of the internal apprenticeship program that, according to TriMet, does not meet agency needs; and maintaining a work trading system which allows certain operators to be paid while not working, TriMet officials said.

Later this week, each party must now submit a final offer.

If a tentative agreement is reached prior to binding arbitration, ATU members would vote to ratify the proposed contract and TriMet’s board would also ratify the agreement. If no agreement is reached, the parties move into binding arbitration where an arbitrator selects one of the offers. 

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