April 10, 2002

The Chicago Transit Board has authorized the execution of an arbitrated collective bargaining agreement between the Chicago Transit Authority and the Craft Union Coalition, which represents 11 trade unions.

The agreement authorizes wage increases of $4.50/hour over the life of the agreement as well as a $1,000 lump sum payment upon ratification. The effective term of the agreement is from 1/01/2000 through 12/31/2003.

In addition to wage increases it provides improved pension and health care benefits for the employees. For the CTA, it offers work rule changes that will allow for more cost efficient operations, such as paying overtime at time and one-half in most instances instead of double time.

The parties had reached a tentative agreement in February, 2000. However, it was rejected by the Coalition membership in a close vote the following month. The agreement authorized today mirrors the original, except that the total wage increase is 75 cents per hour lower than the previously negotiated agreement that was summarily rejected by the Craft Union Coalition members.

"I regret that the membership rejected a negotiated agreement that was fair to both sides and improved our ability to serve the increasing number of customers who use our system," said CTA President Frank Kruesi.

?The arbitrator's ruling supports the philosophy that the CTA has followed in contract negotiations. In return for generous employee wage increases, we ask for work rule flexibility so that we can more efficiently control costs," he added. ?The wage package in this agreement is lower than the one originally agreed to because we lost two years time between the membership vote and the arbitrator's ruling. The ruling recognizes that because the CTA didn?t get the benefit of work rule changes during that time, union membership should not receive the associated wage increase."

The following local unions comprise the Coalition. Also listed are their vote totals on the original, higher-wage, agreement:

District 8, International Association of Machinists

yes: 43 no: 103

Local 9, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

yes: 269 no: 0

Local 21, Bricklayers and Stone Masons

yes: 0 no: 8

Local 115, Sheet Metal Workers

yes: 1 no: 29

Local 130, Chicago Journeymen Plumbers

yes: 0 no: 16

Local 134, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

yes: 28 no: 108

Local 8A-28A, International Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades

yes: 0 no: 74

Local 597, Pipe Fitters Association

yes: 1 no: 23

United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, Chicago District Council

yes: 3 no: 53

Local 1247, Welders and Blacksmiths

yes: 2 no: 28

Local 977, United Steelworkers of America

yes: 2 no: 0

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