CTA reports labor deal with transit union

The tentative agreement lasts through 2023 and calls for a 9.25% pay hike over the life of the contract, the transit agency says.

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A commuter boards the CTA’s southbound No. 49 bus on North Western Avenue at West Belden Avenue.

The Chicago Transit Authority said it has reached a tentative deal with union locals representing bus and rail operators and other workers.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times file

The Chicago Transit Authority said Monday it has reached a tentative labor deal through 2023 with the union representing its bus and rail workers.

The agency said the agreement with Amalgamated Transit Union Locals 241 and 308 covers about 8,500 workers. It calls for a 9.25% pay hike over the term of the contract, plus changes in worker scheduling “to ensure CTA can best meet future service needs,” the agency said in an email.

It described it as a 4-year agreement, but later clarified that it expires in late 2023. That’s because it succeeds a contract that expired in December 2019.

There was no immediate comment from the union locals. The CTA said that if union members ratify the agreement, it will be presented to the CTA board.

“The agreement comes after months of discussions with our union partners. It provides wage increases for the hardworking members of ATU while allowing the CTA to provide the highest-quality service to our customers,” the agency said.

The union membership, including customer service attendants, track workers and bus and train operators, accounts for the vast majority of the CTA’s 10,500 employees.

Activists have asked ATU locals to support a transit shutdown as a protest tied to the Feb. 3 release of former Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, who was convicted in the murder of Laquan McDonald. The locals have offered no response to that request.

For its part, the CTA said it “has no plans to shut down essential transit services. Every day, hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans rely on CTA buses and trains to get them to their jobs, to school, to medical appointments, and for other necessary trips. Our heroic employees, who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic, understand the critical importance of maintaining this service for those who rely on transit.”

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