CCTA and its drivers’ Union, the Teamsters Local No. 597, met Jan. 29 to discuss a new collective bargaining agreement.
The session was facilitated by a professional from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) and follows the release of an independent factfinder recommendation in early January.
CCTA offered to accept the Factfinder Recommendation in whole and to base the new collective bargaining agreement on it. Additionally, to be responsive to the Union’s perspective, CCTA also offered an alternate proposal for Union consideration.
Bill Watterson, CCTA general manager, states “CCTA has historically set a high bar to attract and retain our highly skilled drivers and CCTA’s proposals seek to build upon that history.” Both proposals:
- Recognize the Value of Professional Drivers: CCTA drivers are the second highest paid transit drivers in northern New England and have received annual increases, even during difficult economic times. CCTA’s proposals offer continued pay increases each year to all drivers.
- Reward Safety and Experience: CCTA’s proposals offer a safety bonus increase for those who are accident-free as well as a longevity bonus increase for drivers with 15-plus years of experience.
- Improve Benefits: All full-time CCTA drivers are eligible for a benefits package inclusive of health, dental, and vision insurance. CCTA’s proposals offer to increase the supplemental payment to drivers to cover additional vision-related expenses.
Both proposals, Watterson points out, provide four key solutions to labor-management challenges:
1) Higher quality full-time driver positions with more regular weekly schedules.
2) Clear work rules for drivers.
3) Limits on part-time drivers that do not impact the full-time status of any current employee while ensuring better coverage of peak period driver shifts.
4) Fair increases of driver wages and benefits in balance with the cost of living.