Metro union says contract deal reached

Source: Local 689

Metro’s largest employees union said Tuesday it has reached a four-year deal on a contract with the transit agency’s management after months of negotiations.

The previous union contract had expired in June 2012.

“I feel good about the work we did,” said Jackie Jeter, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689. “We worked through some very difficult issues.

“It was a work in progress,” she said. “We worked together to do as much as we could. On areas we couldn’t agree, we decided to work together without being staunch enemies.”

Jeter would not give details of the deal because she said it still needs to be approved in the coming weeks by the union’s board and the union’s roughly 10,000 members.

Metro said it had no immediate comment. In an e-mail, Metro spokesman Dan Stessel wrote, “I don’t have anything on this subject today.”

The deal comes as two sides had debated such issues as pay, pension and health-care benefits.

Metro’s management had said it would not agree to across-the-board raises for its rank-and-file. Top officials at Metro had also said they wanted to consider having union employees contribute to their pensions, which are now fully funded by the transit agency.

In the last round of contract negotiations, the two sides ended up in a long arbitration. Ultimately, Metro employees received retroactive pay of a 9 percent increase in 3 percent increments for 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Dana Hedgpeth is a Post reporter, working the early morning, reporting on traffic, crime and other local issues.
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