On December 9, 2017, The Rapid Board announced it had reached agreement on a new three-year contract with the labor union representing the public transportation system’s bus operators and maintenance workers.
The Rapid Board of Directors ratified the agreement during their monthly meeting on Saturday morning. That ratification followed the acceptance of the proposed agreement by voting members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 836 (ATUGR) on Thursday, December 7.
“This is a positive outcome for our workers and the taxpayers in our partner communities,” said Peter Varga, CEO of The Rapid. “We have worked hard to craft a contract that is beneficial to our employees, maintains an outstanding level of service to our customers and continues The Rapid’s legacy of responsible fiscal stewardship.”
The contract includes a three percent pay raise for all bus operators and a three and a half percent raise for all maintenance employees in the first year of the agreement. Both groups will receive annual increases of two percent in the following two years of the contract. The Rapid will also pay 80 percent of all health insurance premiums for union workers and will establish a new defined contribution retirement plan. The retirement plan will replace the existing pension plan and will establish a sustainable fiscal approach for the workers’ retirement fund and the transit organization.
“We are very pleased that our dedicated employees will receive these increased wage and benefit contributions and have the peace of mind that comes with having a ratified contract,” said The Rapid’s Board Chair Barbara Holt. “We value their hard work and recognize the important role these workers play in the delivery of public transportation services to the Grand Rapids area.”
The previous labor agreement expired in July 2015. The new contract will take effect upon final execution of the agreement between both parties.
You can review the full Rapid Board Agenda here.