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MBTA, Carmen's Union agree to contract running through June 2021

The MBTA and the Carmen's Union clashed throughout this year over privatization efforts but have now revised and extended the workers' contract.
Members of the Carmen's Union protested earlier this year against the MBTA's privatizDerek Kouyoumjian/Metro

The MBTA and its largest union have come to terms on a new contract, one that T officials say will save the system an annual average of $22 million over the next decade, and that the union chief said will protect his members' jobs and will improve their quality of life.

While the T and the Carmen's Union Local 589 have clashed this year over privatization efforts, the revised and extended contract eliminates the possibility of the T outsourcing the work of driving buses or operating trains on the T's current system, both sides said.

Carmen's Union members currently operate 2.4 million revenue hours of T service each year, and the new contract guarantees that union members will continue to operate 2.4 million revenue hours on the T. The union, though, will forgo a planned 2.5 percent pay raise next year and will instead see wages held flat in fiscal year 2018.

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The agreement, which revises the contract that had been in place and extends it through June 2021, was ratified Sunday by the union and T officials presented it to the T's Fiscal and Management Control Board on Monday afternoon.

MBTA Acting General Manager Brian Shortsleeve said the agreement reduces the T's operating expenses by $80 million over four years, $220 million over 10 years and $750 million over 25 years. The new wage structures, he said, will bring Carmen's Union wage growth closer to in line with MBTA revenue growth.

 
 
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