CTA and ATU Announce Tentative Labor Agreement

November 19, 2012
4-year deal preserves service and jobs
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local #241 and #308 today announced they have reached a tentative labor agreement that will benefit CTA customers while preserving good-paying jobs for ATU members. ATU is CTA’s largest employee union representing more than 7,000 workers at the CTA, including bus and train operators, customer assistants and administrative workers.
This four-year tentative agreement is the first negotiated deal with ATU in decades; all other agreements were the result of binding arbitration. The tentative agreement benefits both workers and riders, as it includes significant new improvements in job conditions for workers, who will be guaranteed fewer "swing" runs that divide work into pieces, prolonging their work day, and addresses similar issues for maintenance workers; while at the same time includes a stronger approach to wellness and preventative health care for workers, which will help bring costs down.
"From the moment I took office, my administration has been looking to find efficiencies and opportunities to improve government services for taxpayers,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This labor agreement is a major step forward and will allow CTA to continue to provide high-quality services for Chicagoans. The CTA is the backbone of our transportation network and helps Chicagoans get to work and school every day, and I am pleased that this labor agreement is in place so we can continue to work to improve the system."
“After months at the table, we are extremely pleased to reach this agreement with our labor partners -- one that is good for our workers but, more importantly, our customers,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool. “This agreement helps achieve financial stability for the CTA, which has been my top priority since coming to the CTA 18 months ago. I would like to thank the ATU for its good-faith efforts and dedication to ensuring a viable future for CTA employees and customers.”
“We are very happy to have reached this deal with the CTA. It is an agreement that benefits workers, riders and the City,” said ATU Local 241’s Javier Perez. “This agreement is part of a long-term ATU strategy to improve Chicago transit and we look forward to working with our riders to further improve CTA.”
“We applaud the CTA in working to get this agreement done. We look forward to bringing it to our membership,” Perez continued.
“After months of negotiations the parties were able to reach a tentative agreement that addresses the concerns of members and the CTA,” said Robert Kelly, ATU Local 308 President. “I want to work now on boosting morale and instilling pride as we continue to work on issues together in the future.”
Also included in the tentative agreement is that for the first time, the majority of part-time bus drivers and temporary rail flagmen will be able to choose their work schedules. Grievance procedures will also be streamlined, providing swifter resolutions.
Reaching a tentative agreement with the ATU and other unions provides the CTA with certainty related to labor costs, a crucial step in resolving the Agency’s 2013 budget, Claypool said.
With the tentative agreement in place, CTA officials will now finalize the Agency’s 2013 budget. An announcement of that budget is expected this week.
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