Union bus drivers and mechanics have approved a contract with AC Transit after months of tense negotiations and strike threats.
Members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 192, which represents 1,625 AC Transit workers, voted 567-465 in favor of the labor contract late Friday. The contract includes a 9.5 percent wage increase, which will be phased in over three years.
The contract must be approved by the transit agency's board of directors, which is scheduled to meet on Jan. 8. AC Transit spokesman Clarence Johnson said Saturday that the board is expected to approve the contract then.
"The board has been informed step by step of the negotiations," Johnson said. "It should be no problem" approving the contract.
AC Transit and the union began contract negotiations in March. The negotiations resulted in two earlier tentative agreements that were voted down by union members.
After talks broke down and the union threatened to strike in October, Gov. Jerry Brown called for a 60-day cooling-off period. Union leaders and the transit agency met almost daily with a mediator during that time, according to Local 192 President Yvonne Williams.
In addition to the pay raise, the new contract also calls for union members to contribute $120 a month toward their health care during the three-year contract. Wage and health care issues had been the primary sources of dispute between the union and the transit agency.
AC Transit serves about 180,000 riders in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.
Erin Allday is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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