Regional digest: Metro union reaches deal,

July 9, 2013
THE REGION
Metro, union reach four-year deal

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

The previous union contract had expired in June 2012.

Jackie Jeter, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, would not give details of the deal because she said it still needs to be approved by the union’s board and the union’s roughly 10,000 members.

Metro declined to comment.

The 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. Top officials at Metro also had 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 a retroactive 9 percent increase in 3 percent increments for 2009, 2010 and 2011.

— Dana Hedgpeth

VIRGINIA
Four arrested in Reston path robbery

Four people have been charged in connection with a robbery and assault on a Reston path, Fairfax County police said.

Ali Lewis, 19, of Freetown Court in Reston and three juveniles were arrested after authorities received a tip about the incident last month, police said. Lewis was charged with robbery.

A 31-year-old man was punched and robbed of his belongings on a path near Pinecrest Road about 9 p.m. June 7, police said. So far, investigators have not connected the suspects to three other robberies and assaults on Reston paths, police said.

— Justin Jouvenal

Metro train goes down wrong track

For the second time in a week, a Metrorail train has gone down the wrong track.

About 3:30 p.m Tuesday, an Orange Line train went down Blue Line tracks in Arlington. Trains on the Blue and Orange lines share track for parts of the system, but they split at Rosslyn.

The train was stopped at Arlington Cemetery, where passengers were off-loaded and rerouted on another train, according to Metro spokeswoman Caroline Lukas.

The incident occurred because of a “signal issue,” Lukas said. She said she did not have more details about what caused the problem.

On July 3, an Orange Line train was taken out of service at Arlington Cemetery after it was inadvertently routed to the Blue Line, according to a statement that Metro spokesman Dan Stessel gave to WJLA-TV (Channel 7), which first reported on the incident.

Stessel said the incident last Wednesday “did not delay other trains, and passengers aboard the affected train experienced a 12-minute delay in their trip. At no time was this a safety issue.”

On Tuesday afternoon, when asked whether the two incidents were similar, Stessel wrote in an e-mail that it was “not known yet.”

— Dana Hedgpeth

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