MTA Workers Vote To Approve Three-Year Contract
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority employees on Dec. 28 voted "overwhelmingly" in favor of a new, three-year labor contract that will increase the MTA's monthly contribution to the union's health care fund, the Los Angeles Times reports. Under the contract, the MTA will increase its contributions to the union's health care fund by 38% in the first year of the contract to help safeguard workers' medical benefits, United Transportation Union consultant Goldy Norton said (Liu, Los Angeles Times, 12/29/03). In addition, the contract will provide a 5% wage increase over three years, beginning in July (California Healthline, 12/19/03). The MTA board is scheduled to formally approve the contract later this month, after it tentatively agreed to the contract terms last month.
Zev Yaroslavsky, Los Angeles County supervisor and chair of the MTA board, said that the contract is "fair for the employees; it's fair for the agency." Union member Peter Bueras, who voted in favor of the contract, said, "Right now, throughout California, it seems all the employers are taking away health benefits," adding, "We feel the union provided us with the best contract that they could muster for us." However, some union members "voiced disappointment" at the 7% member turnout for the vote, while others criticized union leaders for holding the vote on the same day that the terms of the contract were presented to members, the Times reports (Los Angeles Times, 12/29/03).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.