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CTA Reaches Tentative Labor Deal With Transit Workers

By Geoff Ziezulewicz | November 20, 2012 8:49am
 CTA's Western Avenue bus heading south; Oct. 4, 2012.
CTA's Western Avenue bus heading south; Oct. 4, 2012.
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CHICAGO — The CTA reached a tentative labor agreement with its largest union Monday, a move it said will benefit riders and preserve good-paying jobs for union members.

The four-year deal with Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Locals 241 and 308, which represent more than 7,000 workers, is the first negotiated deal in decades, the CTA said in a release Monday.

The deal includes “significant new improvements” in job conditions for the union’s bus and train operators, customer assistants and administrative workers, according to the transit authority.

The agreement also allows most part-time bus drivers and temporary rail flagmen to choose their work schedules for the first time ever, according to the release.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel called the agreement a "major step forward" for the "backbone" of the city's transportation network, and CTA President Forrest Claypool, who faced a reported $277 million deficit last year, said he was "pleased" with the tentative deal.

“This agreement helps achieve financial stability for the CTA, which has been my top priority since coming to the CTA 18 months ago," Claypool said in a statement. "I would like to thank the ATU for its good-faith efforts and dedication to ensuring a viable future for CTA employees and customers.”

ATU Local 241 Vice President Javier Perez said in a statement that he looks forward to bringing the agreement to the union’s membership.

With the agreement in place, CTA officials are now finalizing the agency’s 2013 budget, which is expected to be announced next week.