Third Quarter - 2022 ATU 1576 Union Bulletin

Third Quarter - 2022 ATU 1576 Union Bulletin

 ATU 1576 has five properties, six contracts, and our membership is continuing to grow! We are pleased to share this edition of the ATU 1576 Bulletin, to keep our members informed of the news and events of the entire local.

All Properties- Labor Temple / Union Office Update:

We have resumed in-person meetings. Please check the ATU bulletin boards, our ATU1576 Facebook page, or our website for dates, times, and locations. Due to the ATU International Convention, the September meeting cycle is cancelled. We look forward to seeing more of you at these meetings as we move onward into our future together. We are continually evaluating the status of in-person meetings per Snohomish County and CDC guidelines.

We are currently negotiating five of our six bargaining unit contracts with the sixth one opening soon. Each separate bargaining agreement represents multiple classifications within the contract which comprises nineteen classifications that our local represents. We have done member surveys for each location and President Custer and Vice President Julien continue to meet with the separate units at each property to discuss their concerns.

First Transit Lakewood:

This property has two separate contracts representing Dispatch, Supervisors and Drivers.

President Custer and Vice President Julien have been in mediation meetings with the assigned Mediator from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). We are close to reaching a full agreement with most of the Tentative Agreements (TA) being reached. The final outstanding item we are negotiating is economics which includes a Retention Bonus proposal that the Union presented to management. We are hoping to have a finalized agreement to present to the membership in the next few days. Look for meeting information on the Union Board.

Many, many thanks to Executive Board Officers, Roy Ott and Kevin Cox who have continued to be part of these negotiations, committing their time, efforts, and years of experience to this process. We also want to recognize the continued unanimous solidarity of our Brothers and Sisters.

First Transit Everett:

This contract represents drivers at First Transit Everett.

We are in mediation with the assistance of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). We have faced many unreasonable challenges at this property including changes to the attendance policy and an insulting 2% general wage increase which we rejected. The employer’s inability to meet has significantly stalled the process until now. Final discussions are concerning economics and we are waiting for management to schedule our next negotiation meeting. Our bargaining team continues to hold fast to our commitment to reach the best possible agreement for our hard-working membership.

Executive Board Officer, Steve Becker and Lance Mann met with the members at FTE on July 6th to inform them of the status of the mediations at which time, members in full solidarity, signed the statement below.

“ATU Local 1576 demands that First Transit recognize the importance of the public transit services we provide to the communities we serve as well as the dignity and respect that should be bestowed upon their employees who provide this vital service. We demand fairness, opportunity, and concern for all ATU represented members.

We expect and deserve a safe, positive, and supportive work environment in which to perform the duties of our jobs as well as FAIR COMPENSATION.

We fully support the ATU Union leadership in all of these endeavors. We ask that First Transit support us in our appeal.”

The solidarity displayed has strengthened our bargaining position. 

Community Transit: 

Since our last bulletin publication, we are mourning the unexpected passing of two of our members, Heather Rodriguez, and Kevin Loomis. The Sisters and Brothers of ATU1576 continue to support the families of both members in every way we can.

ATU1576 currently represents Coach Operators, Dispatch, Coach Operator Instructors, Facilities Maintenance, Ride Store, Call Center, and Service Ambassadors

We distributed surveys last fall to obtain our member’s input and are using this information to continue our negotiations. President Custer and Vice President Julien continue to meet with each classification to discuss their concerns. The Union has had very fruitful discussions with Community Transit management concerning compensation to include wage increases and several other economic impacts. Meetings have been on-going weekly and are scheduled to continue through the summer.

President Kathleen Custer and Vice President Dani Julien met with CEO Ric Ilgenfritz to discuss the potential consolidation of Everett Transit and how this will affect both our Local and Everett Transit’s Local. These are very preliminary discussions, and our Union Leadership has made it clear, our Local needs a seat at the table before decisions are made that may affect our members. The Everett City residents will need to approve this plan in 2023 before any actions can be finalized. We have met with ATU International Vice President Yvette Trujillo for guidance as we move through this process.

President Custer and Vice President Julien also addressed the future of Sound Transit and Community Transit commuter work with the advent of Link Light Rail at Lynnwood Transit Center. CEO Ilgenfritz committed to, at a minimum, meet quarterly to continue this dialog and assured us he will notify the Union once Sound Transit makes their decision with respect to the future of commuter service on I-5.

President Custer demanded to bargain with Community Transit after they failed to notify the Union of their intent to implement a new Micro Transit service CT intends to subcontract, beginning sometime in the fourth quarter of 2022. In addition, our local filed a grievance against CT for their violation of Article 41 of our contract regarding subcontracting work, which they denied at Step 1 and Step 2. President Custer also filed an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge with the Washington State Public Employees Relations Commission (PERC) which was deferred to the grievance process. The Union membership will be voting on proceeding to Arbitration at the August Union Meeting cycle, Sunday, Aug 21st, and Tuesday, Aug 23rd.

TransDev/ DART Paratransit:

This contract represents Drivers, Dispatch, Schedulers, Routers, Field Dispatchers and Customer Service Representatives.

The ATU has been bargaining for a successor labor agreement with Transdev since they were awarded the paratransit contract from CT late last year. We have reached a full Tentative Agreement and expect to receive calculations for retro-pay for the period of Oct 1, 2021, to the ratification date.

The bargaining team of President Custer, Vice President Julien and Executive Board Officer Erik Handy are now compiling all the Tentative Agreements into a single contract document to present to the membership. A membership review meeting has been scheduled for Monday, July 25th to discuss the entire proposal, with a ratification vote on Thursday, July 28th.

We sincerely appreciate the hard work, attentiveness, and dedication of Executive Board Officer Erik Handy throughout this process and of course, the patience and support of our membership during the transition from Homage to TransDev, and throughout our contract negotiations.

Island Transit:

This contract represents Drivers and Dispatch.

Contract Negotiations: After reaching an impasse with Island Transit, both sides mutually agreed to enter into mediation through Washington State Public Employees Relations Commission (PERC). The parties have worked diligently and have Tentative Agreements on 14 items. We continue to bargain the 5 outstanding articles including management’s proposal on sick leave, work schedules, grievance and arbitration procedures, work bidding and trading shifts. The parties have had very meaningful discussion regarding economics. Last week management provided the Union with a proposal that addresses the 5 open items and economics in a package. The bargaining team is currently evaluating this proposal and will be prepared for further discussions at our meeting on July 27th.

President Custer and Vice President Julien have had the pleasure to work with Executive Board Officers Rob Bozin, Monti Wimmer and Traynor Hunt who have spent many long and frustrating hours working to represent the member’s best interests.

On behalf of our ATU Officers, President Kathleen Custer, Vice President Dani Julien, Financial Secretary Dave Thompson, and Recording Secretary Lela Perkins, we appreciate all of you and what you do on the front lines every day. We wish you all calm, comfort, and health, now and always. Stay safe!