Kathleen Custer

President/ Business Agent
(425) 259-4544

2810 Lombard, Everett WA 98201

I grew up in a Union family, and my parents raised five children on my father's income as a coach operator.  As a kid, I heard about union work and issues at the kitchen table as my father served as President of his local both in New Jersey and here in Seattle at King County Metro. I guess you can say union work is in my blood.  

But, a proven track record of excellent performance and experience must be earned over time, and I am honored to say that I have served our  local as President since 2002.  Having spent countless hours over the years defending what we and those who came before us worked so hard to secure, I am proud that our local has such an outstanding record of wins in contract negotiations, arbitrations, and Unfair Labor Practice suits. 

Some recent accomplishments as we work hard for your collective bargaining rights within six labor agreements are:

 98% contract ratification vote at Island Transit resulting in their first-ever Labor Agreement

97% contract ratification at First Transit Lakewood resulting in 14.5% wage increase over the term

Hard fought win for new Emergency Response procedures and negotiating a fair Accident Policy at CT

Successfully negotiated first time contract provisions and increased protections at First Transit Everett

We are tirelessly working to protect your wages, hours and working conditions, including: 

Spearheading an effort to eliminate off-the-clock work which resulted in a $1.1 million Class Action Lawsuit settlement of more than 100% of the estimated damages

The transit industry is notorious for missed breaks, we stayed abreast of Washington State legal decisions which has resulted now in paid time for missed breaks 

Three of our properties have notified us they intend to use Drive Cam, a vastly different type of recording system, in the coaches. We are staying ahead of this and have demanded to bargain, filed Unfair Labor Practice charge in one case, and are involving our legal team 

Our Priority is solid budgeting practices and financial stability

This includes passing a new bylaw to begin a defense fund for each of our properties. This fund is for the purpose of interest arbitration or a strike fund, and is currently in effect at Community Transit, our largest property.  This will greatly reduce the annual interest arbitration assessment, and provide a consistently stronger negotiating position for us.  It also allows us to pursue arbitrations with vigor to win on behalf of our hard-working members.

Our Focus is YOU

When I think of one word to describe us today, it is “proud.” And none of what we’ve accomplished would have been possible without the steadfast confidence and support of you, the members of our Local.  It is a privilege to represent you each and every day.