State House News Service | Monday, December 19, 2016
The MBTA and its largest union have come to terms on a new contract, one that T officials say will save the system an annual average of $22 million over the next decade, and that the union chief said will protect his members’ jobs and will improve their quality of life.
While the T and the Carmen’s Union Local 589 have clashed this year over privatization efforts, the revised and extended contract eliminates the possibility of the T outsourcing the work of driving buses or operating trains on the T’s current system, both sides said.
Carmen’s Union members currently operate 2.4 million revenue hours of T service each year, and the new contract guarantees that union members will continue to operate 2.4 million revenue hours on the T. The union, though, will forgo a planned 2.5 percent pay raise next year and will instead see wages held flat in fiscal year 2018.
“We knew that we wanted to be part of the solution. We said that from the beginning,” said Jame O’Brien, president of the Boston Carmen’s Union, Local 589. “We’re glad that we were able to negotiate out of this privatization. It actually shows that through negotiations, instead of privatization, you can garner the same savings, if not more savings than you would have.”
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