Metro Board approves new five-year contracts with five transit labor unions

Metro’s Board of Directors today approved five-year contracts for all five of its transit labor unions representing operators, maintenance workers, clerks, customer service agents, bus and rail transportation and maintenance supervisors and security officers.

“This is a historic day for Metro, our unions and the people of Los Angeles County,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Chair of the Metro Board. “These agreements are the result of collaboration and leadership from both Metro and our workers, and they reflect our shared commitment to serving the people of our region.” 

The contracts are with:

— Sheet, Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation (SMART) Union, representing 4,897 bus and rail operators.

— The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), representing 2,465 mechanics and service attendants.

— The Transportation Communications Union (TCU), representing 896 telephone information operators, clerks and other workers.

— The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), representing 785 bus and rail transportation and maintenance supervisors.

— The Teamsters Union, representing 159 Metro transit security officers.

Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington credited union leadership and the Metro leadership  team for the good faith bargaining that led to the agreements. “We value our employees and the important work they do, sometimes under very difficult circumstances,” Washington said. “We want them to have living wage jobs with competitive salaries and good benefits. And we are pleased we have been able to achieve labor contracts that are sustainable and provide real benefits, that includes Career Pathways that outline opportunities for union employees to advance in their careers and the transportation industry. At the same time, we are dedicating dollars to buses, trains, other equipment and facilities that will improve mobility and safety for both employees and our riders. Our goal is to support the well-being of our employees, the public and our entire system. We believe these agreements are a big step in that direction.”

The five-year contracts ensure labor costs stability for the agency and for our employees and their families. This is the first five-year contract in Metro history and also the first time all five unions have ratified contracts simultaneously and prior to expiration of the existing collective bargaining agreements.

The new contracts provide average annual salary adjustments of 4.2 percent compounded annually for all five unions over the life of the contracts. Together the new agreements will cost an estimated $36.4 million, which is 0.7 percent of Metro’s total $6.1-billion budget for FY18. Salary adjustments will be retroactive to July 1.

Cost benefits associated with work rule changes in the new contracts will save Metro an estimated $8,000,000 per year, over the life of the contract. Among them are reductions of absenteeism, reductions in overtime and additional safety training to help employees avoid accidents on the system.