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Capital Metro seeks bids for labor contract to replace StarTran
Tuesday, August 23, 2011 by Kimberly Reeves
Capital Metro’s board of directors showed its cards on Monday, revealing exactly where they intend to draw the line with Amalgamated Transit Union 1091 as the board sends its major labor contract out for bid at the end of this month.
The decision, announced by Chair Mike Martinez, signals the beginning of the end to an ongoing eight-year skirmish between agency and labor that has often manifested itself in pairs: two strikes; two major agency audits; and at least two pieces of legislation passed in an attempt to fix internal agency problems.
The latest bill, Senate Bill 650, directed the agency to dissolve StarTran, its non-profit and often dysfunctional labor arm, and either move its biggest outside labor contract in-house as direct employees of Capital Metro or send that contract out for bid for a potential private vendor.
Members of the local union unanimously rejected the former as a negation of their collective bargaining rights and are likely to balk at the choice of the latter, although ATU 1091 President Jay Wyatt was not at Monday’s meeting and did not return calls or an email asking for comment on the decision.
Capital Metro, as
“As we are moving towards this, there will be some who will be accusing the agency and/or this board of not keeping its promises,”
The shorthand for “13c” is what the agency owes to current employees. As outlined by
The original authority to outsource the StarTran contract was expected to save the transit agency about $18 million a year.
“Any significant delays in Cap Metro’s federal funding could mean transit services cut and subsequent job losses,”
The goal would be to make the transition from StarTran to a private provider as smooth as possible,
With no flexibility in pay or health care, as the union suggested, Capital Metro would be stuck with limited or no savings under a new agreement.
The Capital Metro board of directors meets to consider a request for proposals on Aug. 29.
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