Metro has agreed to pay one of its five unions a lump sum of 2 percent of workers’ wages in the new fiscal year, despite having pledged that its employees would not receive pay increases this year, according to an article from the Washington Examiner.
The transit agency and Local 639 International Brotherhood of Teamsters Law Enforcement Division agreed on the contract in recent weeks, the article says, and Metro’s board signed off on it last week.
Under the new terms, an estimated 115 special police officers, who guard Metro facilities such as bus garages and the agency headquarters, will receive retroactive wage increases of 2.5 percent each for the past two years, the Washington Examiner reports. On Oct. 1, they will receive a 2 percent lump sum.
The move will cost Metro an estimated $797,621, according to the article.
The guards will also be able to carry over more comp time each year, but health care and retirement benefits are unchanged.
The Metro guards are making between $15.80 and $22.50 an hour, before overtime, according to Local 639 business agent Bill Davis. He says he is pleased with the outcome, as the guards have been seeing higher food and fuel bills recently. He remarked that “Certainly no one is getting rich being a special police officer. We are trying to keep our officers in the middle class.”
Metro has three other contract fights underway. According to the Washington Examiner article, “The agency is suing its unionized office workers over a decision an arbitration panel made. And it is negotiating a new contract with its Transit Police union. A fifth contract for some Teamster-represented bus drivers and mechanics expires in September, according to Metro.
“But Metro's board and officials have publicly stated a firm stance against the unions, saying workers wouldn't see any wage increases this fiscal year. Metro officials also have said they are seeking concessions on pension plans and workers' hours.”