The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Board of Directors has approved a new four-year contract between the MBTA and the MBTA Police Association, which will endeavor to improve retention and support frontline patrol officers within the MBTA Transit Police Department through expanded benefits and increased wages.
“We are steadfast in our commitment to rebuilding our workforce, including our transit police officers responsible for protecting the public and our workers,” said MBTA General Manager and CEO Phillip Eng. “This contract and the speed at which we reached an agreement convey our understanding of the difficult but vital role our brave officers perform, putting the safety of our riders first every day. We’re grateful to have Chief Kenneth Green at the helm and appreciate his remarkable contributions to the MBTA during the past 33 years. His leadership and expertise continue to play a pivotal role in our ability to offer reliable service to the communities we serve.”
“We know that our employees are the backbone of the MBTA and this new contract is a message to MBTA officers that we appreciate the work they do and we want to give them the financial resources to continue to have a career with the Transit Police force,” said Massachusetts Department of Transportation and CEO Monica Tibbits-Nutt. “We are grateful to the Transit Police Officers who protect the safety of customers and employees every single day.”
The four-year contract began July 1, 2023, and lasts through June 30, 2027. The contract includes:
- Overall wage increases. Approximately 18 percent wage adjustment over four years, averaging approximately 4.5 percent per year.
- Retirement Eligible Retention bonuses.
- Implementing a Longevity Bonus program at 10, 15, 20 and 25 years to address current staffing shortages and retain frontline officers.
- A one-time bonus of 10 percent for eligible retirees to defer retirement to the end of 2024.
- The deal also expands the definition of bereavement leave to include domestic partners.
The incoming MBTA Transit Police Academy class starts Dec. 11. The class of 42 recruits includes 16 future MBTA officers, with others joining police departments across the area. Two experienced officers from Medford and Lexington, Mass., are also transferring their talents to the MBTA force. The training academy lasts six months.
“I am grateful to [Massachusetts] Gov. Maura Healey, Secretary Tibbits-Nutt and General Manager Eng for securing this generous contract for the transit police,” said Chief of Transit Police Kenneth Green. “This will significantly aid our retention and recruitment efforts. The decline in law enforcement applicants in recent years has been concerning and this contract will play a crucial role in stabilizing and bolstering the ranks of the MBTA Transit Police. It places us in a strong position to attract new hires. As transit officers, we are unwavering in our commitment to safeguarding the commuting experience for our riders and transit colleagues.”
The Transit Police Association is approximately three percent of the MBTA’s affiliated workforce. Transit Police Sergeants and Lieutenants are represented by the MBTA Sergeants Association and the MBTA Superior Officers Association, respectively.
“This agreement demonstrates the power of collaboration between management and labor,” said MBTA Police Association President Robert Marino. “It’s a testament to what we can achieve when we work together towards a common goal. This contract is not just about fair wages and benefits for our police officers; it's about ensuring that our community has the best possible public safety services. I’m incredibly proud of our members and the MBTA for their dedication and commitment to this process.”
The MBTA's overall efforts to rebuild has been focused on recruitment, retention, skills training and leadership development to cultivate the workforce needed to operate and maintain a modern transportation system. The MBTA has invested in restructuring the senior leadership team, improving safety protocols, engineering, planning, and frontline teams and workforce development and training to ensure employees fulfill their responsibilities most effectively. To date, the MBTA has exceeded hiring nearly 1,200 employees in just 2023 alone, exceeding a goal set by the Healey-Driscoll Administration, whose investment of $20 million in the supplemental budget supported the Local 589 Agreement critical to the MBTA hiring efforts.
Building upon the positive momentum established by the Local 589 Agreement, the MBTA was able to swiftly negotiate this agreement, further solidifying its dedication to its frontline safety workers. In contrast to the previous contract negotiation, which took six years to finalize, this agreement was secured in months.