MCTS Drivers Unions Calls for a Strike, All Bus Service Suspended
As of 3 am Wednesday, July 1, 2015, all Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) bus service will be suspended because of a strike by the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 998.
MILWAUKEE – As of 3 am Wednesday, July 1, 2015, all Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) bus service will be suspended because of a strike by the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 998. ATU leaders called for a work stoppage despite significant attempts and concessions from MCTS during a daylong negotiation session.
The union’s decision means tens of thousands of people who rely on MCTS to get to work, school and doctor’s appointments will have to find other transportation. The strike will also shut down Summerfest service that tens of thousands of people rely on every day to get to the Big Gig.
MCTS presented a contract proposal on Friday that would have increased bus drivers and mechanics pay in exchange for some health care concessions. The average MCTS bus driver will make more than $62,000 this year in salary and overtime.
In an attempt to avoid a strike, MCTS made significant concessions to the union today, including:
- A matching $1,000 Flexible Spending Account for employees to help offset modest increases in healthcare costs. The previous proposal was $500.
- Capping the amount of part-time drivers MCTS will hire.
- Some flexibility for how mechanics use their personal time.
Despite numerous recent statements from union leaders that their contract dispute was not over money, the union came to the bargaining table today to ask for $8 million in increased wages.
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Every bus in the MCTS fleet will have a seat reserved in honor of Rosa Parks.
Passengers should expect service delays, especially through the city of Milwaukee.
“I was treated with the utmost respect, and really enjoyed riding the city bus,” said national travel writer John Morris.