Local 1596

Way to go Mike Lowery, Your Team and Your Membership

ECAT Union Reaches Deals, Workers Getting Multiple Raises October 24, 2013 A deal has been reached with the union to avoid an ECAT strike and give workers multiple raises. On Wednesday night the union members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1395 approved and accepted a tentative agreement reached between the union negotiating team and the management of First Transit, which manages the Escambia County Area Transit bus system on behalf of the Escambia County Board of County Commissioners. With the ratified agreement and 90 percent of the union membership approving it, a strike was adverted. ” We are pleased that we reached an agreement and especially pleased that ECAT transit workers finally received security at the workplace and we can now continue our focus on improving and expanding our bus service for our bus riders” stated Union President / Business Agent Michael Lowery. All union workers will receive a three percent across the board raise retroactive to October 1, and they will receive addition three percent raises in 2014 and 2015. Transit workers wanted to be covered under the Florida State Retirement System, but that was not included in the package. But Lowery said the union and management agreed to work toward a transit authority to oversee mass transit in five county transit authority. Under such an authority in the Panhandle, ECAT workers would fall under the state retirement program. Also under the new labor agreement, 401K contributions will increase to five percent and then six percent in 2015. ECAT workers had not received a raise since 2008 and their prior labor agreement had been expired since 2010. The Union had set a strike date of this past Monday, but decided to continue negotiations instead.

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