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The Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon's (TriMet) board on Wednesday ratified a new three-year labor contract with the agency’s employees represented by the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 757.The agreement runs from December 2016 through November 2019, and will cost $2.2 million, TriMet officials said in a press release.Key provisions include wage increases of 3 percent (retroactive to December 2016), 3.25 percent (in December 2017) and 3.25 percent (in December 2018); a one-step increase resulting in a 6.6 percent wage hike on top of the general wage increase for most of the 110 service workers; and a one-time $1,000 payment to 273 journey workers.The agreement also retains the status quo on health-care benefits, except for a no-cost change to the supplemental retire health plan, TriMet officials said.While the final agreement contains about 40 of the ATU's proposals, it includes TriMet's proposal to hire an outside vendor to provide ground-up remanufacturing of the MAX fleet of light-rail vehicles, they said.The process will extend the fleet's life, increase MAX reliability and allow TriMet to respond to demands for additional service — despite a shortage of journey worker mechanics, agency officials said.About 85 percent of TriMet's 3,000 employees are ATU 757 members.
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