The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) Board of Directors today announced approval of a new contract between METRO and the Transport Workers Union of America Local 260 and the Transport Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO, which represent the majority of METRO’s bus and rail operators and mechanics.
The three-year pact provides wage increases, enhanced health care contributions, and revisions regarding qualifications and appointment of trustees to the employee health and welfare trust. The agreement was ratified by almost 90 percent of union members who voted.
METRO Chairman Gilbert Garcia said, “I think this is a wonderful outcome. Ultimately we did the right thing and I feel great about it.”
METRO President & CEO Tom Lambert said he was very pleased with the ratification. “This is the first time in 10 years that we have been able to reach agreement on a new pact without an impasse or arbitration.”
“The Transport Workers Union of America and TWU Local 260 reached an agreement after months of negotiations. We are pleased with the contract that was overwhelmingly ratified by the membership. TWU and Local 260 reached the agreement with Houston METRO with no give- backs,” said John Bland, Administrative Vice President of the Transport Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO.
The new contract includes:
A 2.25 percent wage increase retroactive to Aug.1, 2015.A 3 percent wage increase for each of the following two years.A hike in METRO’s monthly contribution to the Transport Workers – METRO Health and Welfare Trust to $1035 per eligible employee and retiree retroactive to Aug.1, 2015.Additional increases in METRO’s monthly contribution to the Transport Workers – METRO Health and Welfare Trust to $1,071 per eligible employee and retiree in 2016, and to $1,109 in 2017.Modifications to provisions reflecting that all trustees of the METRO Health and Welfare Trust will be appointed by the Union.