County Executive Chris Abele
Press Release

County Executive Calls on Union to Restore Transit Service as soon as Possible

Throughout negotiations, the County has and will continue to remain focused on one outcome only – the best service for transit riders now and in the future.

By - Jun 30th, 2015 07:11 pm

MILWAUKEE – Although County Executive Abele is disappointed in today’s decision by the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) to reject a reasonable contract offer and strike, he is confident that a deal will soon be agreed to that respects both transit workers and taxpayers.

“The Milwaukee County Transit System is a critical tool for economic development and self-sufficiency, and I am proud of our record of maintaining routes and excellent service without raising fares,” County Executive Abele said. “Taxpayers ride the bus over 150,000 times every single day. In choosing to strike, ATU is punishing County residents that rely on bus service.”

Proposed Contract Facts:

  • The average MCTS bus driver makes more than $62,000 per year in salary and overtime.
  • Between cost of living increases, pay increases, and pension contribution decreases, ATU members would see a salary increase of up to 3.3% in the first year with an additional 1% increase to base pay on top of that in the second year. Additionally, ATU members were offered a $1,000 employer matching contribution to their Flexible Spending Accounts during today’s negotiations.
  • The net compensation increase (salary and benefits) for ATU members over the next two years is $3,580 for workers with an individual healthcare plan and $2,848 for workers with a family healthcare plan.

In a time when State transportation funding has been flat and Federal funding has declined, ATU members rejected multiple contract compromises that increased overall compensation while allowing for the continuation of full transit services, stable fares, and respect for County taxpayers.

Throughout negotiations, the County has and will continue to remain focused on one outcome only – the best service for transit riders now and in the future. The emphasis is on providing a high quality transit system while modernizing and expanding services.

“From low income workers to Summerfest attendees, the ATU’s decision to strike has far reaching consequences for the people of Milwaukee County,” Abele said. “To be clear, the final added concessions today represent our last, best offer. Anything more than this is unsustainable in our County budget and would be irresponsible to the taxpayers we serve.”

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4 thoughts on “County Executive Calls on Union to Restore Transit Service as soon as Possible”

  1. Tony Muhammad says:

    Chris Abele, I believe it is more irresponsible to give away land value about $9 million dollars in return for $1.00 than failed negotiations between hard working taxpaying citizens and their mix bag non-profit employer (MCT) that resulted in a 3-day strike.

    The Union demands are reasonable, but evidently the bus drivers demands do not fit well with Governor Scott Walker making Wisconsin a Right to Work state

    Chris this article, confirms where your true political loyalty rest…

    It is now obvious Chris your loyalty rest with the Bucks, outside billionaire’s and keeping pace with Governor Walker billionaire supporters, not hard working taxpaying residents of the City and County of Milwaukee?

  2. Observer says:

    Excellent points Tony.

  3. Tyrell Track Master says:

    How are the Union demands reasonable? They’re insane! And the value of the land is zero unless the Bucks do something about it. I have no problem with that “give-a-way”

  4. David says:

    There are few things Abele has done to benefit the citizens of Milwaukee. It has all been about him and bringing more power to his position and cannot seem to get along on anything with the County Board. He is another version of Walker that cannot be trusted to manage county business for the benefit of the majority of citizens.

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