TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The daily commute for thousands of bus riders will go on as scheduled on Friday; the union voted to accept an offer from Sun Tran.
Teamsters approved 292 to 93 the one-year contract that gives one time raises to all employees with Sun Tran longer than six months, except those at the top level. They will get an increase now and another in February so that top mechanics are at $22.66 an hour and top drivers are at $19.22 an hour by February. While wage progression remains frozen, this could be just as significant for most employees. They still get full health coverage and a one percent increase in the pension contribution. The new contract stays within the adopted 2015 budget.
"Our members enjoy what they do, it's a difficult job. Everybody would like a longer contract but it seems to be a thing of the past," said Teamsters spokesman Andy Marshall.
The Teamsters have said the drivers, mechanics and service workers have had their wages frozen for the last few years, with only about a 20 cent an hour raise in the last five years.
The strike would restrict bus service to a few select routes. Rejecting the agreement would mean bus riders would have to deal with that starting tomorrow.
"We didn't want a strike. It's not good for the members, it's not good for the citizens of Tucson, so, I think both sides worked extremely hard to come up with a creative and workable solution," Marshall said.
The last strike lasted about a week in 2010.