Island Transit reaches contract with union

Island Transit finally has a contract with bus operators and dispatchers.

The agency’s board approved a labor agreement with the Amalgamated Transit Unit, Local 1576, at the meeting Friday. It went into effect Sunday and goes until April 27, 2020.

The operators and dispatchers organized after Island Transit’s fiscal crisis in 2014, which resulted in a round of layoffs. Rumors of favoritism and unfair treatment of employees by the agencies’ leadership circulated during that period.

One former employee even filed a lawsuit.

Island Transit Director Mike Nortier said negotiations with the union started two years ago, before he was hired, but was finally completed amicably. The union members voted to ratify the agreement last week and the board’s approval made it official.

The contract sets a wage scale and includes a 2 percent, cost-of-living adjustment each year. It also codifies such policies as progressive discipline.

There’s nothing out of the ordinary in the contract, Nortier said.

The union is made up of about 65 operators and seven dispatchers.

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