Keolis Transit America, operators of Handy Ride, Fresno’s ADA Paratransit, Service and the Amalgamated Transit Workers Union Local 1027 have reached a collective bargaining agreement. The deal was ratified Jan. 26 after an agreement had been reached early last month and is for a term of three years.
"The partnership that we have built here in Fresno is critical," says Keolis General Manager, Paul Kwiatkowski. "It has allowed us to form a team that is fully committed to the members of our community that is fully engaged and working together to improve their mobility and the quality of their lives."
Since taking over Handy Ride last February, Handy Ride staff and drivers saw more than a 15 percent average pay increase, for a majority of 2012. These wages were the highest union workers had seen in the last 18 months, while under the previous transit contractor.
Like many other major corporations in this current healthcare market, Keolis faces the challenge of guaranteeing a specific healthcare plan. Keolis is happy to report that under the current deal, they will continue its 100 percent of each employee’s health contribution and maintain the 80 percent family contribution, with only a $250 deductible.
Keolis’ motto is, “We do things the right way, every day.” To keep services running smoothly, terms under the ratified agreement call for the implementation of an employee handbook inclusive of an attendance policy. With core values headlined by safety, integrity, empowerment, value and responsibility a handbook holds Keolis employees to a higher standard.
Keolis is responsible for customer service, maintenance and general operations for Handy Ride including the staffing of 90 employees, 67 of which are drivers. The city of Fresno's contract with Diversified, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keolis Transit America, includes a three-year base term and four one-year extensions. The Fresno City Council unanimously approved the award of the contract on Jan. 24, 2013. Keolis completed a seamless transition of the contract and initiated performance on Feb. 18, 2013.