TriMet Brothers & Sisters,
Members of the ATU Bargaining Team met with TriMet today, July 31, to bargain over Transportation and Maintenance Articles. While the parties had some productive conversations in the Transportation session, the same cannot be said for the Maintenance Department.
The Union continues to reject TriMet’s am/pm board proposals; however, we did leave TriMet with a package proposal which we believe offers mutually beneficial solutions to some current scheduling problems. This proposal included straight time pay for road relief, which remains to be one of our top priorities.
Unfortunately, there is nothing positive to share about Maintenance negotiations. TriMet wants to do away with 40 years of Collective Bargaining, and all the hard work that went into it. TriMet wants to completely do away with any oversight for the Apprenticeship Program. We must ask, why? What is it that TriMet wants to do that is not currently allowed under its state certification? We believe that their unwillingness to even bargain over state oversight is alarming. We do not know what safety implications this may have, nor the consequences that it may have over the diversity of our workforce. What it all comes down to is that we cannot and do not trust TriMet or this line of decision making, and we do not believe that they are putting the well being of our members or the public first.
Our Apprenticeship Program is not all that TriMet seeks to strip the Maintenance Department of. In fact, if you look at their proposal, there isn’t much they want to leave for you. If TriMet had their way, you would also be saying goodbye to Assistant Supervisors, tool allowance for some rail workers, the option to turn down overtime, Warranty Work training, many of your seniority rights, and the title of Journey Worker if you currently have it.
The disrespect that was shown to the Maintenance Department today is inconceivable. We appreciate each of you and your hard work and patience throughout this bargaining process, however, at this time we have seen nothing but takeaways for the maintenance group and cannot in good conscience continue down this path. Today ATU 757 called for mediation, the first step towards declaring impasse.
Please continue to monitor our Facebook page and website for bargaining updates. We appreciate all that you do and are proud to represent you. We will continue this fight!!