MILWAUKEE – On Tuesday, November 29, Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) and Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 998, the union that represents MCTS bus drivers and mechanics, reached an agreement on a 3-year contract. The contract includes significant wage increases, more flexible hours, and minimal changes to healthcare.
“This agreement would not have happened without the hard work of MCTS Interim Managing Director Denise Wandke, Director of Transportation Donna Brown-Martin, and MCTS Administration staff. Our thanks go out to everyone within MCTS and Milwaukee County who worked tirelessly with ATU to pass this contract.” said Supervisor Logsdon. “We work best when those with differing opinions come to the table in the hopes of finding solutions that will best serve Milwaukee County. I am thrilled that both parties were able to achieve a 3-year contract and avoid a strike, and I will remain committed to bettering our transit system through my work on the Committee on Transportation and Transit.”
“As a union member myself, I understand and value the collective bargaining process. I’d like to commend and congratulate the MCTS administration as well as ATU 998 for working diligently together towards reaching an agreement.” said Supervisor Vincent.
“As a MCTS Commuter Value Pass card-holding bus rider, and the dad of a UWM student who relies on the bus every day, I cannot understate the importance of this agreement,” said Supervisor Rolland. “Bus operators don’t just drive a bus; they drive our businesses, schools, our economy, and our workers – especially underserved people. This contract should build trust in both the transit system and in Milwaukee County overall for keeping the buses and our community moving forward.”
“We are thankful both parties, MCTS and ATU, were able to reach an agreement avoiding a strike,” said Supervisor Martin “When both parties are willing to compromise, it offers a win/win/win. MCTS, ATU, and the public they both serve get some of what they wanted. Now, hopefully, they will continue to work in the spirit of cooperation to address the remaining outstanding issues they have.”
“Congratulations to MCTS and ATU 998 on reaching a 3-year agreement,” said Supervisor Sumner. “As we approach a fiscal cliff for transit funding, it is important for us to continue to communicate with each other as we continue to problem solve.”
“I’m grateful for the fierce advocacy from the ATU, individuals and supporters which led to a fair contract and uninterrupted transit for Milwaukee County residents.” said Supervisor Clancy.
“As a union organizer, I know that organized labor ensures that workers have the bargaining power to demand a fair wage as well as adequate working conditions. Congratulations to ATU Local 998 on their hard-fought contract agreement with MCTS,” said Supervisor Juan Miguel Martinez. “While there is still much work to do to improve safety for our bus operators, this contract is a major step in the right direction for the hundreds of operators and mechanics who keep Milwaukee County moving.”
“ATU Local 998’s new three-year contract is a win for its members, MCTS, and Milwaukee County residents,” said Supervisor Steven Shea. “Thank you to ATU and MCTS leadership for their months of negotiations that resulted in higher wages for our hard-working operators and mechanics and averted a strike that would have been devastating for bus riders across Milwaukee County.”
“It is important that we continue to have bus routes run through the south-side of Milwaukee as part of an efficiently run county-wide network,” saidSupervisor Zerpa. “I’d like to commend the members of ATU 998 as well as MCTS for reaching an agreement.”
Highlights of the 3-year agreement include wage increases, competitive healthcare benefits, and a pension.
MCTS is hiring additional drivers, offering a $1,000 sign-on bonus. A paid training class starts each month. Candidates are welcome to apply at RideMCTS.com/Careers.