The president of the local Amalgamated Transit Union Peter Schiraldi says the deal is fair for both the drivers and taxpayers. Before the deal was reached, the union and some transit riders were concerned that the county might try to privatize part of transit in order to save money. No request for proposal was ever published.
"We understand the county's financial situation so we did agree to some concessions," said Schiraldi. "We took a pay freeze for one year. We took an increase in health insurance."
New employees also won't be eligible for a longevity bonus until they've worked 15 years, instead of the current five. The deal was approved overwhelmingly by the union and the legislature.
"Because this is such a good deal, maybe we can look and focus on enhancing our routes and doing different things that need to be done. I'm very proud of this contract. I'm very proud of transit making this deal with the county," said county executive Debbie Preston.
The new contract goes through 2017.
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