The CTA today announced a tentative labor agreement with its two biggest unions of train and bus operators, customer assistants and administrative workers.
It was the first negotiated pact in decades; other agreements were the result of binding arbitration. A CTA news release noted these provisions:
The tentative [four-year] agreement ... includes significant new improvements in job conditions for workers, who will be guaranteed fewer "swing" runs that divide work into pieces, prolonging their work day, and addresses similar issues for maintenance workers; while at the same time includes a stronger approach to wellness and preventative health care for workers, which will help bring costs down.
.... Also included in the tentative agreement is that for the first time, the majority of part-time bus drivers and temporary rail flagmen will be able to choose their work schedules. Grievance procedures will also be streamlined, providing swifter resolutions.
“This agreement helps achieve financial stability for the CTA, which has been my top priority since coming to the CTA 18 months ago," said CTA President Forrest Claypool. "I would like to thank the [Amalgamated Transit Union] for its good-faith efforts and dedication to ensuring a viable future for CTA employees and customers.”
Union reps also had good things to say about the agreement: “We applaud the CTA in working to get this agreement done," said ATU Local 241’s Javier Perez. "We look forward to bringing it to our membership."
It's unknown for now whether that "financial stability" also means no fare increase or service cuts for 2013. The CTA promises to release its 2013 budget sometime this week. Stay tuned on Tuesday or Wednesday?
And look for more details on the agreement later as well.