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Union Ratifies AC Transit Contract – Possible Strike Averted

Members of the key union for AC Transit employees has ratified a tentative agreement, averting a threatened strike, AC Transit said. The rank-and-file had twice rejected earlier tentative agreements.

AC Transit bus. Patch file photo
AC Transit bus. Patch file photo

By Jeff Shuttleworth and Scott Morris, Bay City News Service

Alameda-Contra Costa Transit workers have ratified a tentative contract agreement, averting a possible strike threatened after union votes rejected two previous agreements earlier this year, AC Transit officials said.

Members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 192, which represents about 1,700 bus drivers, mechanics, dispatchers, clerical and other workers, reached the agreement with management last Friday. It will now need to be approved by the transit agency's seven-member board of directors, which will next meet on Jan. 8.

The agreement includes a 9.5 percent wage increase phased in over the next three years of the contract and employees will make a flat monthly contribution of $125 per employee to their health care costs, AC Transit officials said.

"This was a long and often intense negotiation and there are no winners or losers in its outcome," AC Transit General Manager David Armijo said. "We are happy we were able to get through process without any disruption in service."

A 60-day cooling-off period granted by a judge on Oct. 23 at the request of Gov. Jerry Brown averted a threatened strike by bus agency employees.

The agency logs about 200,000 daily bus rides in its service areas in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

AC Transit employees rejected management's contract offer by a margin of 561 to 369 on Oct. 1 and rejected a previous offer by a margin of 576 to 257 on Aug. 17.

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