For Immediate Release
February 16, 2021
For more information, contact:
CARRIE ROSE PACE – (804) 516-4148 – email@example.com
GRTC Approves New Collective Bargaining Agreement for Union
Union package includes pay increases across all positions.
RICHMOND, Va. (February 16, 2021) – GRTC and the Local 1220 Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) are agreed to terms of a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA), as approved by the GRTC Board of Directors this morning, and recently passed by Union vote with 98% approval. Negotiation meetings began in September 2020, and the new CBA will be retroactive to October 1, 2020 for hourly pay rate increases.
GRTC Chief Executive Officer Julie Timm says, “A business that does not value its employees creates employees who do not value their employer or their customers. GRTC purposefully came to the negotiating table with a proposal that: gives our essential workforce added paid holidays to match our city and state partners and gives needed breaks from high stress service; ensures retirement security and peace of mind through long term solvency of the previously underfunded pension plan; preserves ongoing employer maintenance of a quality health care plan and sick leave benefits to meet or exceed state or federal requirements; and guarantees a livable wage that will exceed $15 an hour for all employees within three years and brings most employees over that threshold right now. I am committed to the protection of our employees, physically and financially, so that our employees can focus on quality service for our riders!”
GRTC’s Board-approved package for the Union includes pay increases across all Union positions and a continuation of pension plan benefits. GRTC authorized a new Operator top pay at $24.79 for the first year of the new CBA, increasing to $25.78 in Year 2 and $26.81 in Year 3. Operators who also assist with training receive a pay increase up from an additional $1 per hour to $2 per hour in addition to their regular rate of pay. Likewise, Maintenance employees called on to act as lead person in place of a foreman, in the foreman's absence, shall be paid additional compensation at the rate of $2 an hour. Mechanics operating the wrecker can also be paid an additional $2 per hour. Bus Cleaners, which have significantly increased duties during the pandemic, will receive pay increases at hiring (50% of top Operator pay), at three months of employment (57% of top Operator pay), and at a year of employment (65% of top Operator pay), meaning a cleaner can rise from $12.40 per hour to $16.11 per hour within a year.
Breaks are important for the performance of the Operator, and meal break times will increase from a minimum of 10 minutes to a minimum of 20 minutes. With the ongoing pandemic, employees may also take an eligible sick day by calling in sick at least 90 minutes before their report time for work, encouraging employees who are unwell to take time away to verify their health status. Paid Personal and Holiday time off is increasing, too, from two to four personal days off per year and 11 Holidays off per year, notably including Veterans Day, Indigenous Peoples Day, Juneteenth, Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday, and President’s Day. Employees working Holidays on what would have been a day off will earn time-and-a-half pay.
Pay increases will be retroactive to the effective date of October 1, 2020. The new CBA will be in effect until September 30, 2023.
GRTC is a public service corporation providing mobility services in the Greater Richmond area. GRTC’s current operational budget of $60.3M primarily funds daily mobility operations and vehicle maintenance. GRTC provides more than 9.25 million trips annually.