The CTA's Automobile Mechanics, represented by Local 701, are set to receive a generous wage increase, retain quality health care coverage, and collect higher pension benefits, plus a $1,000 lump sum payment under the collective bargaining agreement authorized by the Chicago Transit Board at its monthly meeting today. The new agreement is retroactive, covering January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2003.
?This new agreement is the result of the hard work and commitment demonstrated by both union leadership and CTA management," said CTA Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett. ?It meets their needs, and especially the needs of our customers, who will benefit from the increased efficiency in our operations."
?The CTA and Local 701 worked together to reach an agreement that fulfills the needs of union leaders, Local 701 membership and CTA management. This agreement reflects 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," said CTA President Frank Kruesi.
The agreement with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Automobile Mechanics, Local 701 authorizes four wage increases in the hourly rate of automobile mechanics totaling $4.50 over the life of the contract: a $1.00 per hour increase effective January 1, 2000; another $ .50 per hour increase effective January 1, 2001; and $1.50 per hour increases July 1, 2002 and July 1, 2003. Each automobile mechanic also will receive a $1,000 lump sum payment upon ratification.
In addition to wage increases, the contract provides improved pension and health care benefits for the employees which are identical to the health, welfare and retirement provisions previously negotiated with Local 308, Local 726, Local 399 and awarded to the Craft Coalition in 2001 and 2002. If employees decide to opt out of insurance coverage, the CTA will pay them up to $950 per year once proof of alternate coverage is provided. Pension benefits paid to retirees will increase based on changes in the pension formula.
For the CTA, the agreement offers work rule changes that allow for more cost efficient operations, such as paying overtime at time and one-half in most instances instead of double time, and reduced vacation allowance.
Local 701 represents 186 employees at the CTA. Fifteen of the sixteen unions representing CTA employees have successfully resolved new wage agreements. The last remaining unresolved contract is Local 241, representing bus and general office employees.
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