Burlington, VT— The Green Mountain Transit (formally known as CCTA) Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Chittenden County bus drivers and the transit agency at their monthly Board of Commissioners meeting held on April 19, 2016. The new contract will go into effect on July 1, 2016. This contract will be in effect for five years.
Catherine Dimitruk, GMT Board Chair states, “I sincerely appreciate the work that went into this contract negotiation. This work started over a year and a half ago, when members of the union and staff committed to working together to change the culture that led to the strike. I think the new contract reflects what we know. Our drivers are professionals and should be treated as professionals in the parameters of how they work. Our management team is outstanding and needs flexibility to make the exciting improvements underway at GMT. The salary increases are commensurate with what we expect from the drivers as professionals representing GMT. The five year time frame provides certainty for employees and GMT.”
Union negotiations began on March 22, 2016 between Teamsters Local 597 and the management team at GMT. Both sides worked hard in hammering out an agreement that fell within budget, and gave the drivers a solid contract of a 14% increase spread out over the next 5 years. General Manager Karen Walton says, “This puts their pay rate more in line with their peers at other New England transit agencies.” On April 3, 2016, GMT drivers voted overwhelming to ratify the contract.
“Things have really changed in two years at GMT. It has been a great benefit to be working with a new management team! Negotiating a five year contract is good for both organizations and it provides security for the drivers and allows them to focus on giving great service to the public,” said Tony St. Hilaire, Business Agent for Local 597.
Walton replied, “The union stewards and management team have worked hard together to make Green Mountain Transit a great place to work. All employees have embraced our safety culture, and I am delighted that this contract solidifies what we already know, Green Mountain Transit is an employer of choice.”