Amalgamated Transit Union president, Bruce Hansen, is scratching his head. The reason? TriMet appears to be deliberately delaying negotiations.
“For the last six months, we’ve heard TriMet’s repeated claims that the Union is “delaying” while TriMet is eager to begin bargaining in order to avoid service cuts,” Hansen said. “Now that we’ve said we’re ready to go to the table, even though the court has not ruled on the public meetings’ law, TriMet is dragging its feet.” In April, the Union asked to start bargaining. TriMet’s executive director of labor relations, Randy Stedman, has since responded that he’ll see if there are dates available in July and August.
Hansen is not a happy camper. “We’ve had to contend with a variety of hostile and untrue accusations from this employer and now TriMet is turning around and doing exactly what it accused us of doing.”
The ATU is currently in contract negotiations with nine other employers, notes Hansen. “Not one of those employers has been anything but cordial throughout the whole process. And, they’ve made a real effort to timely schedule bargaining sessions.” Hansen sees one bright note in that fact. “What this tells us is that, fortunately for the majority of our members, TriMet management is the exception and not the rule.”
Hansen has sent TriMet’s executive director of labor relations, Randy Stedman, a letter detailing TriMet’s “perplexing” inconsistencies.