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Port Authority Union Agrees to Wage Freeze

Local 85 of the Amalgamated Transit Union ratified a four-year contract with a wage freeze in an effort to prevent layoffs and service cuts—including some in the Forest Hills-Regent Square area.

Tentative transit service cuts and layoffs could be prevented due to the union's agreement to a new four-year contract with a wage freeze and other concessions.

According to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Local 85 of the Amalgamated Transit Union voted in favor of the contract—retroactive to July 1, it calls for two years of wage freezes and increases of workers' contributions to the pension fund—in two voting sessions at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center on Sunday.

For contract details, click here.

The agreement now will be considered for approval by the Port Authority Board on Tuesday. A special meeting has been scheduled for 10 a.m. in the Neal H. Holmes Board Room, 345 Sixth Ave., Fifth Floor, in downtown Pittsburgh.

“Congratulations to the members of ATU 85, who voted (Sunday) to ratify the tentative labor contract with the Port Authority of Allegheny County," said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. "I am grateful for their willingness to be a partner with us in finding a long-term solution to funding for public transit in our region. Their officers and membership showed great leadership today and we look forward to the subsequent vote of the Port Authority Board on Tuesday.”

The Port Authority released a statement on Sunday saying, "We're pleased with the outcome and look forward to the vote of the Port Authority Board of Directors on Tuesday."

If approved, the agreement is the first step in preventing the 35 percent service cuts, resulting in layoffs and closing of the Collier Garage and various park and ride lots around the area. The cuts were scheduled to take effect in September.

Express service to the suburbs was heavily targeted in the reduction plan. Local routes to be eliminated are the P68 Braddock Hills Flyer, P69 Trafford Flyer, P71 Swisshelm Park-Rankin Flyer and P76 Lincoln Highway Flyer.

According to the authority, 100 municipalities or neighborhoods will lose all transit service if the reductions are implemented. Among them are Braddock Hills, East Hills, , Trafford, Turtle Creek and Wilmerding.

Service also would be discontinued to the Boyce Campus of Community College of Allegheny County in Monroeville; Brinton Towers senior housing complex in Braddock Hills; and the VA Medical Center on Highland Drive in Lincoln-Lemington-Belmar.

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JustMe August 20, 2012 at 01:00 PM
As a PAT bus rider for over 40 years, I for one would like to thank all parties involved for working together to find a solution to our transportation problem. It's amazing what can be accomplished when folks work together. THANK YOU!
Pat O'Neil August 20, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Heck, I'd agree to a two year pay freeze too if I was guaranteed 4 raises over the following 20 months .... From the PG article: "The contract, retroactive to July 1, calls for two years of wage freezes followed by raises of 2.25 percent on July 1, 2014; 2.25 percent on April 1, 2015; 2 percent on July 1, 2015; and 2.25 percent on Feb. 1, 2016"

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