This afternoon, the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587, which represents King County Metro workers, agreed to a three-year contract that would waive the COLA (cost-of-living adjustment) increase for the first of the three years. According to Slog, this will save about $7.8 million next year. This is a very surprising turn of events, given the union’s recent position on wage concessions. Nonetheless, wage increases for the second and third years have not yet been finalized.
Thoughts from PubliCola, which seem to trend toward the view that a one-year freeze is just about as far as the ATU is willing to go:
It’s hard to say who the winner and loser is here. On one hand, the fact that the union (whose president, Paul Bachtel, was saying as recently as last month that he’d rather cut bus service than give up pay increases) has accepted any concession at all is major news. On the other, the fact that the one-year COLA freeze is all Constantine is announcing seems to indicate that the terms of the agreement are favorable to the union.