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Rail News: Labor

WMATA's board OKs contract with ATU


The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's (WMATA) board late last week approved a four-year labor agreement with Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 that will freeze employee wages for a year and require employees to contribute to their pensions.

The agreement covers fiscal years 2013-2016. Although the contract includes no wage increase in FY2013, it calls for a 3 percent wage increase in FY2014 and a 4 percent increase in FY2015 and FY2016, according to a WMATA press release.

Also under the agreement, WMATA employees will contribute to their pensions for the first time in 30 years. Contributions of 1 percent will begin in FY2015 and increase to 3 percent in FY2016. The net effect for Local 689 employees is a wage increase that averages 1.85 percent per year over the contract, WMATA officials said.

"This agreement does not include everything management wanted, nor does it include everything labor wanted," said WMATA General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Richard Sarles. "But I can confidently say that the agreement is a good balance that treats our employees fairly while curbing cost growth over the next several years."

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More News from 7/29/2013