Milwaukee County Transit System
Press Release

As Contract Talks Continue, ATU Leader Insists on $9 Million More

The public should be aware that Macon’s $9 million proposal would have a huge impact on the community.

By - Jul 29th, 2015 10:44 am

MILWAUKEE – As the Milwaukee County Transit System and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 998 (ATU) go back to the bargaining table on Thursday, July 30, new information shows the devastating impact ATU’s contract demands could have on the community.

ATU leadership called for a strike nearly a month ago. Since then, ATU President James Macon has been busy holding a rally with a giant inflatable camel, calling a last minute, 3 am press conference, using vulgar language in news interviews and insisting they will go on strike again.

Macon is hoping his antics distract the public and media from the true cost of his contract demands. Macon is demanding $9 million more than what MCTS can afford.

MCTS has put $6.3 million in increased wages and benefits on the table in the next two budget years. MCTS has agreed to cap the number of part-time drivers and is seeking pension changes that will make the transit pension plan stronger, and healthcare changes that help to control costs and keep monthly premiums affordable.

Macon has repeatedly said he will “shut the city down” if he doesn’t get what he wants.

The public should be aware that Macon’s $9 million proposal would have a huge impact on the community, including the possible elimination of routes and the loss of thousands of rides a day.

$9 Million

$9 Million

Other facts people should be aware of:

  • The average MCTS bus driver makes more than $62,000 a year in salary and overtime
  • On top of salary, MCTS also pays a majority of the drivers’ pension and healthcare
    • Yearly pension cost to MCTS per driver – $11,435
    • Healthcare cost to MCTS per driver:
      • Single coverage – $7,613
      • Family coverage – $19,795
  • Total cost MCTS pays in compensation & benefits per driver:  $81,878 – $94,060

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People:

17 thoughts on “As Contract Talks Continue, ATU Leader Insists on $9 Million More”

  1. Paul says:

    The union is pissed that part-time workers are not forced to join the union, that’s all they care about.

  2. PMD says:

    Is it that Paul or are they worried that more part-time drivers will be hired and some full-time drivers will lose their position? Is that possible? Also, do you hate all unions?

  3. Will says:

    Thanks to guys like James Macon, unions will eventually just be phased out all together. I appreciate his help in this matter.

  4. PMD says:

    The troll is back. Happy trolling Will.

  5. Will says:

    Haha and a good day to you PMD.
    I like this article cause it summarizes unions so succinctly.

    “Macon is demanding $9 million more than what MCTS can afford.”
    “Macon has repeatedly said he will “shut the city down” if he doesn’t get what he wants.”

  6. PMD says:

    Yes trolls I mean true progressives like yourself are rabidly anti-union. Keep up the good trolling.

  7. Tom D says:

    Paul, thanks to Wisconsin’s new “right-to-work” law, nobody is forced to join a union any more, so that’s not the issue.

    The problem is that, under the old contract, all drivers are entitled to be paid for 8 hours each work day even if they aren’t assigned 8 hours of work. It’s really easy to get used to getting paid for 8 hours even if you only work 6 (and then getting paid at time-and-a-half if you are asked to work a seventh hour that particular day—because that’s “extra” work).

    Bus driving doesn’t lend itself to neat, 8-hour days so there are lots of short-shifts (but being paid at 8 hours) and lots of overtime. Part-time workers threaten to change all that.

  8. Will says:

    All you do is name call and Im the troll? At least say something substantive!

  9. Will says:

    There more I read about true progressives the less I feel I can be considered a progressive. Such as your dear leader

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/ubs-deal-shows-clintons-complicated-ties-1438223492

  10. PMD says:

    Because you aren’t one Will. You probably never were, but you sure aren’t one now. And that’s fine. But at least be honest about it.

    So do you also hate the unions that represent police officers and firefighters?

  11. Will says:

    I dont hate unions at all, just the way they currently operate. To me, unions and corporations are one in the same. Leveraging their money and influence to hurt the general public.

  12. PMD says:

    Do you feel like generally speaking they all operate the same way, regardless of whom they represent? Do you believe they are no longer needed?

  13. Dave says:

    “I like this article cause it summarizes unions so succinctly.”

    You realize this is a press release by one of the party’s at the negotiating table, right? I’m sure every thing is just perfectly placed in context…

    That being said, James Macon and ATU 998 are an embarrassment and a disgrace. They do a terrible disservice to labor unions in general who have done a world of good for employees and the middle class in this country. Actions these clowns have taken will make it even harder to organize in the 21st century.

  14. Brisls says:

    County doesn’t have 9 million dollars to negotiate with. Well, well,well, I bet all the millions Mayor Barrett wants to use to fund his disastrous trolley would go a long way to keep the bus system alive for years to come. Why isn’t that being brought up in negotiations?

  15. AG says:

    @brisls: Because they are completely different bodies of government.

  16. A busdriver says:

    TOM D said: “The problem is that, under the old contract, all drivers are entitled to be paid for 8 hours each work day even if they aren’t assigned 8 hours of work. It’s really easy to get used to getting paid for 8 hours even if you only work 6 (and then getting paid at time-and-a-half if you are asked to work a seventh hour that particular day—because that’s “extra” work).

    Bus driving doesn’t lend itself to neat, 8-hour days so there are lots of short-shifts (but being paid at 8 hours) and lots of overtime” Apparently you know NOTHING about working as a bus driver so you might want to shut up before you really embarrass yourself. They don’t need to hire part-time drivers. They can nearly eliminate overtime by how they cut the runs.

  17. SteveM says:

    Maybe some more land give-aways and reduced voter representation will bolster that budget! Abele, like all other republicans, simply wants tomsee the elimination of public transit and the removal od undesirable people.

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