Sep. 25—TARTA customer-service workers, administrators, and other support staff will receive a 3 percent raise, a signing bonus, and three new paid holidays under the terms of a three-year labor contract the authority's board of trustees approved Thursday.
The contract with the Toledo Association of Administrative Professionals, also known as United Auto Workers Local 5242, is retroactive to May 10 and expires May 9, 2024. The union representing about 40 employees at the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority and its Toledo Area Regional Paratransit Service subsidiary had previously ratified it.
The contract will boost the lowest-paid TAAP member's annual pay from $28,862 to $29,873, while the top of the scale will rise from $56,446 to $58,421, said Andrew Cole, a TARTA spokesman.
Union members also will receive a $2,080 signing bonus and new paid holidays on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Juneteenth, and Veterans Day.
"We are very pleased to work together with our TAAP leadership to come to mutually agreeable terms and show our employees, who are our greatest asset, that we value them," said Kimberly Dunham, TARTA's chief executive officer. "Positive labor-management relations have always been a top priority for our team."
The contract's approval is occurring about six weeks before voters in Lucas County and Rossford will decide whether to approve or reject a proposed half-cent sales tax that would replace two property levies as TARTA's main local funding source.
The sales tax is forecast to yield $30 million in annual revenue instead of the $13 million the property taxes generate from a smaller area, while transit service would be extended throughout Lucas County if the sales tax is adopted, along with restoration of Sunday service dropped in early 2019 as part of a budget cut.
"We know we must work together during these difficult times with the continuing pandemic," Emilio Ramirez, the local union's president, said in the transit authority's statement. "We look forward to and fully support the TARTA tax levy in November and are committed to our membership, their safety, and the continued service to the community."
Contract negotiations also are under way between TARTA and the union representing its drivers and mechanics.
"All of the changes we've made in the last two years have been about moving this agency forward, and building a public transportation agency that our community can use and be proud of," said Kelsie Hoagland, president of the TARTA board of trustees. "This contract is the next step in rebuilding and transforming our transit agency."
First Published September 25, 2021, 10:31am