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Metro Transit Negotiations Update

Negotiations Update 10/22/2015


We met with Metro Transit and a mediator several times this month.  A small handful of non-economic issues were discussed.  Major issues, including healthcare, and the financial package have yet to be resolved. 

Throughout negotiations, Met Council has insisted upon an increase in premiums to the Open Access health plan.  Originally, their projections called for an 11% increase in the total premium.  ATU has been disputing this in bargaining, including our reminding them that the reserve fund is approximately $5 million over the amount necessary to be held in reserve.  Met Council reassessed the plan numbers; and now, according to their projections, they are instituting an increase of 7% to Open Access, 2% to Distinctions, and no increase to HRA.

Met Council claims that their numbers are now accurate, and have invited ATU to have an Insurance expert of ATU’s choosing review the numbers, at the expense of Management.  We have accepted this offer, and are in the process of selecting a firm.  This dispute over the health care numbers has created a pause in negotiations.  Dates have been scheduled into November and December to continue bargaining once the study is completed.

Open Enrollment materials are coming out, and the employee contributions are increasing, even though we haven’t reached an agreement about contributions yet.  Contributions are the portion of the total premium that the employee and employer pay.  Management is passing the total premium increase on to employees in the form of significantly increased employee contributions until we reach a contract settlement.  If we don’t reach agreement before 1/1/16 any over/under payment for insurance will be dealt with in the contract settlement.

Metro Transit Negotiations Update

Negotiations Update 9/3/2015


We met for negotiations twice this week and nearly no progress was made.  Major issues, including healthcare, work rules, and the financial package have yet to be resolved.

Because the pace of negotiations has nearly stalled, ATU and Metropolitan Council have petitioned the Bureau of Mediation Services to begin Mediation. 

We have scheduled September 11th for negotiations to try to resolve some non-monetary issues prior to Mediation commencing.  As soon as mediation is scheduled, the dates will be posted.


What is Mediation? Contract mediation usually starts when negotiations between the parties become non-productive or cease altogether. Labor or management may petition the BMS for the services of a mediator. The mediator convenes a meeting to help the parties find a basis for resolving the dispute on terms that are acceptable to both parties. The mediator examines and analyzes positions and interests to ensure that both parties have clear understanding of the issues before them. Attempts are made to identify priorities and focus the parties' effort on problems that must be solved for an agreement. The mediator works to foster an atmosphere that is conducive to idea-sharing and problem-solving. (info. from BMS web site.)

Metro Transit Contract Negotiations Update

The contract expiration date passed July 31st.  The current contract is still in effect while we continue negotiations with management.

Thus far, we have met with Management for twelve sessions of negotiations.  Approximately half of the proposals have been worked through to conclusion, reaching a tentative agreement or drop.  We have also begun negotiating proposals which involve financial impact to the contract (wages, healthcare, etc.)  We are reviewing information on healthcare, and are awaiting costing information on several proposals.

Further updates will be forthcoming.

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