July 19, 2017
By WNYLaborToday.com Editor-Publisher Tom Campbell
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Buffalo, NY – Ending a nine-year struggle, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1342 has finally achieved a new contract with the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA), which includes an overall 17.25% wage increase, Union President Jeff Richardson tells WNYLaborToday.com this morning (Friday, July 14th).
The four-year deal covers 1,100 Unionized NFTA Workers – who are employed by the public transit system as Bus and Light Rail Drivers, Mechanics, Electricians and Clerical Staff – and is actually retroactive to 2009. The new contract calls for an 11% wage increase in year one and subsequent raises of 2%, 2% and 2.25% in each year of the remaining three years, Richardson said. That retroactive payment of 11% in year one could equate into anywhere from $1,200 to $6,000 for an NFTA Employee, depending on the number of years worked, he said.
“I’m just ‘happy and proud’ of my Executive Board for ‘getting it done,’” said Richardson, who became President of ATU Local 1342 in January after serving as the Union’s Vice President and Recording Secretary for the past several years.
“We met regularly (with the NFTA), in fact twice, recently. We were ‘willing to go in and negotiate with an open mind’ in a ‘we’ mindset. There were also a lot of people ‘behind the scenes who did a lot of work and we are eternally grateful,’” he said.
Richardson told Your On-Line Labor Newspaper that Local 1342’s Membership has already ratified the new contract by a vote of 498-to-297 and that the NFTA Board of Commissioners will vote on whether to accept the contract later this month, on July 27th.
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