Sunday meeting coverage by Don Knapp, KPIX. AC Transit coverage starts at 2:45 Proress in talks? “Nothing that I can bring back to the members, that they would be proud of, or can ratify.”
Eric Rasmussen’s live report after Sunday’s meeting.
By Yvonne Williams, Oakland Tribune My Word © 2013 Bay Area News Group San Jose Mercury News. Jun 25, 2013 11:20:02PM MDT
I started driving for AC Transit in 1986. I came to AC because I had been driving for Greyhound Lines and liked the work but wanted to work more locally.
I always liked the core lines – the 82 run, the 1R, the 40s. I liked being out there with the public. There was a real connection with the community, with people who really appreciate and need our service.
Twenty-five years later, passengers are still the best part of AC Transit, but there’s much to do to deliver on the district’s PR about “A Better Ride.” We need less sloganeering and more commitment to improving this important service.
AC Transit carries more than 200,000 passengers daily. Cuts in recent years mean the bus operators, maintenance workers, dispatchers, clerical and approximately 1,700 members of ATU Local 192 have suffered from speedup, stress and a 50 percent increase in transportation injuries in the last year.
Riders suffer, too. Service cuts mean that passengers wait longer between buses, placing themselves at risk. The district’s considering replacing deputy sheriffs with untrained, unaccountable private security guards shows a lack of concern for everyone’s safety. The district’s refusal to provide hygienic restroom
facilities and adequate breaks impacts our health and well-being.
Operators, dispatchers, clerical and maintenance workers are hard at work and doing our part to maintain service. We do the job every day with fewer co-workers. At the height of the recession, we lost more than
$35 million in concessions – money that our families as well as our communities had counted on. We live in the neighborhoods we serve, and we spend our money locally, including paying local taxes.
We live with the same high Bay Area inflation rates as others, yet our wages today are less than they were six years ago.
We know that the riding public and the elected board value our work. We commend the board’s June 12 vote against subcontracting TransBay service, which would have thrown reliability and accountability figuratively under the bus.
We urge the elected board to listen to voters, riders and working families who depend on AC Transit.
A lot has been said about transit strikes this year, because our contract expires on the same day as BART. Our members want to bargain a fair contract and keep the buses rolling. We need a willing partner to negotiate.
While our union goes back 112 years, we know that transit is the key to our future. My 27 years with AC Transit are just the beginning. Planners now setting the course for the Bay Area’s future are counting on
reliable, quality bus service. We can make that vision come true if AC Transit works with employees and demonstrates respect for riders and workers.
Yvonne Williams is president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 192 and a graduate of the National Labor College.
June 28, 2013
Dear Local 192 Member:
Your officers and bargaining committee have been hard at work to secure a fair contract and respect at AC Transit. We have met with the state mediator and AC Transit negotiators repeatedly. We plan to bargain through the weekend. We have met with community leaders, elected officials, brother and sister unions, our labor councils, and members of the media to get our story out.
We are pleased with the progress in organizing our members and the support shown for our union by the East Bay except AC Transit. We want to thank all the members who have been reaching out to the public and leafletting, attending the Board meeting where we were heard loud and clear, and attending events like our Day of Solidarity.
We have made our message clear: we demand respect from the District and we are ready to bargain a fair contract.
The District has failed to bargain in good faith and has committed unfair labor practices. As we write this, the District has refused to address our concerns about the 50% increase in work-related injuries from 2011 to 2012, as well as other health and safety concerns, and protection for our members in case of a BART strike.
So that we can keep members informed about negotiations, we ask you to do two things:
1) Visit our website at www.atu192.org and update your email address and cell phone number by subscribing to our list
2) It’s urgent and important that you attend this Sunday’s meeting, June 30, 3-4:30pm.
We are proud of this union and our determination to fight for a fair contract.
Yvonne Williams Ed Nash Joyce Willis
Dan Marshall Ron Williams William Lopez
ATU local 192 members will attend the 6:30 pm public comment section of the AC Transit board meeting at 1600 Franklin St. to demand good faith bargaining.
Oakland, July 1 -12:30PM:
“We want to bargain a contract. We were at the table until the early hours this am and are headed back to the table at 2pm.
“Our members are working and keeping the buses rolling for our passengers and Bay Area public. We’ll be at the board meeting tonight to demand good faith bargaining.
“We appreciate the support from community leaders and the issuance of strike sanction by our Washington, DC leadership, as well as Bay Area Labor Councils, AFL-CIO,” said president and business agent Yvonne Williams.
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Amalgamated Transit Union Local 192 represents 1,760 bus operators, mechanics, dispatchers, clerical and allied workers at AC Transit, moving 200,000 passengers a day in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties
8460 Enterprise Way, Oakland, CA 94621 (510) 635-0192
www.atu192.org ■ Facebook/ATU Local 192 ■ Twitter @ATULocal192
Bay Area transit leaders hear from Andrew Austin, executive director of Americans for Transit, about building on our historic labor-community alliances to improve transit service for riders and workers. Workers at BART and AC Transit are fighting unfair labor practices, and building for the future. Visit We Make Bart Work and www.ATU192.org for more information, or Like us on Facebook.
Thanks to ACCE, CARA, Genesis, Greenlining, NWPC, Public Advocates, Sierra Club, TransForm, Urban Habitat for your leadership in improving transit and your work today.
What’s your message to AC Transit about safety, service and #ABetterRide?
Ed Nash, VP; Yvonne Williams, President; Joyce Willis, Financial S-T; Danny Marshall, BA; Ron Williams, BA – for SURE showing off the new ATU 192 t-shirts.
Members coming into the hall as the meeting begins!