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Rail News: Passenger Rail

WMATA, ATU sign new four-year contract


Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s board April 18 approved a three-year agreement with Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 689, which represents 7,000 bus and rail operators, station managers, mechanics and other WMATA employees.

"More than all the other advantages of this contract, it values our employees for the tremendous work they do," said Chief Executive Officer Richard White in a prepared statement. "Metro employees, many of them members of Local 689, performed in an exemplary manner [Sept. 11] and since then, and it is more than symbolic that we were able to reach this agreement at this particular time."

Under terms of the contract, which is in effect from May 1, 2001, through April 30, 2004, members will receive a 4 percent pay increase each year, effective Nov. 1 of each year; and an increase in the "pension multiplier," which provides employees who retire on or after May 1 to receive a significant increase in their retirement compensation.

Like many other companies throughout the country, WMATA did increase the deductible for prescription brand drugs, as well as deductibles for co-insurance and "out-of-network" health care.

"Given the revenue and budget challenges we now are facing, staying within the allotted budget takes on even greater significance," said White.

The contract also establishes a pilot program to explore new ways of addressing discipline, and a new labor-management committee to address workforce issues.

"We want to resolve any issues as they arise in a spirit of mutual cooperation, and not wait until it’s time to ratify the next contract before sitting down and discussing issues," said William Scott, WMATA assistant general manager of workforce development and diversity programs.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/23/2002