CTA, operators unions reach tentative labor agreement

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.

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  • I may as well say it here, too:

    So, I guess no problem publishing it, putting it out for meaningless public hearings, and then submitting it to the RTA by the statutory deadline of Nov. 15, 2012

    And since you say Wednesday(?), sure, sneak it out before the holiday, but I'm betting that it is later than that.

    And now that they have an agreement, how about Claypool's statement that he balanced the 2012 budget by not paying budgeted pay increases. I bet he has to pay them now.

    Finally, you didn't note that the first quote was from Emanuel. Very strange for an independent municipal corporation that supposedly serves 40 suburbs and thus is always begging for their tax money.

  • I've also heard that by statute, the public hearing must be 30 days after the budget release. Then the CTA board must meet to approve it. So if they release it Tuesday, they would be hard-pressed to OK the budget before Christmas.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    You need to provide a cite. I did. The law is not a rumor mill, except to city officials. You can look at ilga.gov.

    In this case, the MTA Act says:

    The proposed budget, financial plan, and five-year capital program shall be available at no cost for public inspection at the Authority's main office and at the Regional Transportation Authority's main office at least 3 weeks prior to any public hearing. Before the proposed budget, financial plan, and five-year capital program are submitted to the Regional Transportation Authority, the Authority shall hold at least one public hearing thereon in each of the counties in which the Authority provides service. All Board members of the Authority shall attend a majority of the public hearings unless reasonable cause is given for their absence. After the public hearings, the Board of the Authority shall hold at least one meeting for consideration of the proposed program and budget with the Cook County Board. After conducting such hearings and holding such meetings and after making such changes in the proposed budget, financial plan, and five-year capital program as the Board deems appropriate, it shall adopt an annual budget ordinance at least by November 15th preceding the beginning of each fiscal year. 70 ILCS 3605/34.

    So at least there was a basis to the rumor. Note, however, the November 15th date, again.

    The MTA Act also says that on coming to a labor agreement, the CTA is to submit an amended budget to the RTA for its approval (70 ILCS 3605/28a). It does not say that section 34 is inoperative while negotiations are ongoing,

    It's fine if you say that they would be hard pressed to approve a budget by Christmas, but they still have to send it to the RTA for approval before getting one. Maybe the 9 suburban members of the RTA Board shouldn't roll over this time.

  • In reply to jack:

    geez, jack, Kevin agreed with you and added more to show how the CTA was behind schedule with this budget. What's with the mini rant?

    And does he really "need to provide a cite"?? well, yes, if he was writing an article for Williston. He didn't state it as fact, he said he "heard". Perhaps what you meant is that you need him to provide a cite. You'd think someone with your vast legal and writing experience (as you have so often told us) would be more careful with your word choices

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Sorry, no Anonymous. I see you are back.

    Why don't you show some guts and tell us who you are?

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