There has been a few comments about the starting rate that First Student and TriMet are advertising around town. First Student has busses parked in different areas around town with signs that state a starting wage of $16.00 an hour and TriMet posted on craigslist an add that states a starting wage of $14.25 an hour.
We have 3 contracts with First Student (Portland Public Schools, Corvallis and Stayton County). Both PPS and Stayton County contracts show a starting wage of $13.96 while Corvallis has a starting wage of $10.91. There are First Student properties that are not union and is not covered by a contract. If non-union properties are offering a starting wage of $16.00 an hour while union members are being started at $10.91 or $13.96 it really makes our union look bad. If the $16.00 an hour starting wage is taking place within our union properties then we must find out if this is taking place with the approval of our union. I am not aware of any side letters signed on this topic. $16.00 an hour is 14% higher than PPS and Stayton while it is 46% higher than Corvallis. If this is taking place without the approval of our union then what is our union doing to address this? If this is taking place with the approval of our union then why wasn’t the membership notified of this and why is our union leadership allowing this to take place?
TriMet on the other hand is obligated to the contract between ATU757 and TriMet. This contract clearly states that as of December 1, 2015 Student Operators pay is $11.21. Advertising a starting wage of $14.25 is 27% higher than our contract states. Again we must ask how this is taking place and what is our union doing about it?
Are the employers doing as they please while our union does nothing to protect our membership?
By allowing these employers to adjust starting wage in a contract and not allowing all wages to be adjusted is an injustice to all members. What is being done about this?
Our union represents our members from First Student and TriMet. To have such a difference in start wages gives the appearance that our union is not unified and doesn’t assure our members are getting an equal pay for the work they perform. We really should address this and get some answers for our members.