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.