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Metro union employees to get pay raise

Metro employees will see raises in their upcoming pay checks after a long battle with the union that represents most of the transit agency’s workers, officials said.

The raises are part of a dispute between Metro and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689. They went into effect Aug. 28 and will show up in the Sept. 14 pay cycle for workers, officials said.

The union, which has about 10,000 members, had been in arbitration with Metro over a 9 percent wage increase for its members to be awarded in 3 percent increments for 2009, 2010 and 2011.

The dispute began in 2008 after Metro and the union reached an impasse on contract negotiations.

In November 2009, an arbitration board ruled on some issues for the union, but Metro appealed the decision. The case went before a federal judge, who ruled in July in favor of the union. In August, Metro’s board of directors decided not to appeal the judge’s decision.

Union and Metro officials said employees will get their retroactive pay in mid-October.

Jackie Jeter, president of the union, said workers were frustrated that the raises hadn’t come sooner, but “they know this is a very bureaucratic system.

“We’ve done as much as we can in terms of letting everybody know what’s happening,” she said.

Metro said it has nearly $100 million in reserves to pay for a wage increase for members of the union.

Follow me on Twitter @postmetrogirl.

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