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Rider's Almanac Blog

Labor agreement increases wages for transit workers

Posted by Drew Kerr | Thursday, February 29, 2024 8:27:00 PM

ATU workers from Metro Transit, including a technician, public facility workers and a bus operator.

The Metropolitan Council this week approved a labor agreement with the ATU Local 1005 that increases wages for frontline transit workers.

The ATU Local 1005 represents more than 2,000 bus and train operators, technicians, public facility workers, cleaners, and transit information representatives, among other positions. In early February, 82% of ATU members voted in favor of the proposed contract.

Under the new contract, wages for all ATU-represented workers will increase 13% from July 2023 through August 2025. Effective immediately, the new starting hourly wage for bus and train operators is $27.59 and the starting hourly wage for mechanic technicians is $37.80.

The contract also includes higher wage rates for second- and third-shift workers and more flexibility in part-time operator schedules.

“Without transit workers there is no transit, so we welcome this new agreement and look forward to working in partnership with the ATU Local 1005 to recruit and retain the people we need to improve and expand transit service across our region,” General Manager Lesley Kandaras said.

We're delighted to have secured significant benefits for our members, aiming to enhance retention and attract new talent,” said David Stiggers, President of the ATU Local 1005. “Frontline transit workers, navigating a dynamic and at times hazardous working environment, are pivotal in shaping a better transit system. Moving forward, we're hopeful that upcoming negotiations will prioritize the health, well-being, and quality of life of our members who move our region.”

Metro Transit is seeking hundreds of transit workers to support current needs and prepare for future expansion, including three Bus Rapid Transit lines that will open in 2025. Several steps have been taken to attract workers including:

  • Paid training for operator applicants who need to earn a Commercial Drivers License Permit.
  • Hiring bonuses of up to $5,000 and referral bonuses for current employees.
  • The creation of an industry-leading Bus Operator Apprenticeship Program that combines instructor-led workshops, on-the-job training, and mentorships.

All Metropolitan Council employees enjoy competitive benefits, including health, dental, vision and life insurance plans, a pension, optional enrollment in the Minnesota Deferred Compensation Plan, paid parental leave, and access to free on-site medical clinics.

Review all career opportunities and learn how to apply here.