CHICAGO TRANSIT BOARD APPROVES ARBITRATION AWARD BETWEEN CTA AND BUS UNION

December 10, 2003
12/10/03

The Chicago Transit Board today approved the arbitration award between Amalgamated Transit Union Local 241 and the Chicago Transit Authority. The award was issued on November 21, 2003 by arbitrator Jonathan Dworkin. It affects nearly 6,300 CTA employees who work as bus operators, bus repairmen, bus servicers, and warehouse, treasury and office administrative staff. The award, which is binding, covers the period of January 1, 2000 through December 31, 2003.

?We are pleased to have this process come to a resolution. Our employees deserve to be fairly compensated for their hard work each day and we believe that the terms of the agreement do just that," said Transit Board Chairman Carole L. Brown. ?We are proud of the work of all of our employees and with the agreement settled we can now refocus all of our energies on the business of public transit."

?In all our contract negotiations, the CTA has sought to provide fair wage increases in exchange for work rule flexibility that enables the CTA to operate more efficiently. The arbitrator's decision supports that position and we are pleased to finally have an agreement that benefits both our employees and customers," said CTA President Frank Kruesi.

Kruesi added that the agreement will not negatively impact the CTA's operating budget. ?As part of CTA's budgeting process, we anticipated a wage increase for Local 241 and incorporated funding into the operating budget," he said.

Highlights of the arbitration award include the following:

A wage increase of $3.00/hour over the term of the contract. Under the previous contract, the top bus operator's rate was $20.01/hour. Under the new agreement, the top bus operator's rate will be $23.01 as of December 2003, an increase of approximately 15 percent over the four years covered by the contract terms.

Back pay bonuses will be calculated based on seniority and attendance.

The percentage of part-time bus operators is increased from 20 percent to 25 percent and the CTA will have increased flexibility in scheduling of work so that employees are properly compensated and work is scheduled in a way that best meets the needs of customers.

CTA has the right to outsource snow removal work and landscape work, as long as no Local 241 laborers are displaced.

Formalizes existing disciplinary policies related to loss of driver's licenses and strengthens policies with respect to discipline for vehicle accidents.

The uniform allowance increases by $50 to $250 annually and the work clothes allowance increases by $27.50 to $150 annually.

Consistent with all the other agreements the CTA has reached with its bargaining units, pension benefits will also be enhanced. The multiplier that is used to calculate pension benefits will be increased from 1.85 to 2.15, an increase of 16 percent. The cap on the maximum pension benefit increases from 62.5 percent to 70 percent of the eligible salary.

The award provides employees with four options for medical coverage. Employees? co-pay and contribution are governed by the benefits provided under each option.

As a result of the settlement, both parties have agreed to dismiss any pending lawsuits related to the contract.

CTA management and union representatives had been working to come to an agreement since January 2000. The two parties entered into arbitration in August 2003.

The CTA previously reached agreements with the other 16 bargaining units representing its rail employees and those who belong to craft and trade unions.

Terms of all the CTA contracts, including this arbitration, run through the end of 2003.

The full terms of the arbitration award are posted on the CTA's web site at www.transitchicago.com.

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