Congratulations to all of our soon to be new hires who will now be making $14.25 an hour for their first 6 weeks and then will be at $15.63 for the following 6 months. To be honest I feel that our starting wage should match First Student’s starting wage of $16.00 an hour. For those who might not know, First Student is part of our union as well. Our union officers also permitted First Student to raise their new hire rate $13.96 to $16.00. I feel that both First Student and TriMet new hire rate should at least be equal and at $16.00 an hour. There are many things that are taking place just on this subject alone and I hope members will take enough interest in this to help get our union on the right track.
Here is some of what we have gained by allowing this rate increase take place. For the first 6 weeks new hires will make an extra $729.60. This will be very helpful for a new hire. This will help pay our union’s $225.00 initiation fee and monthly dues. At the end of the 6 weeks our new hire will then get a rate increase to $15.63 but will no longer be training at full time of 40 hours but will then be part time. So for the first 6 weeks a new hire will make about $570.00 a week for the first 6 weeks and then go to making about $468.90 a week. Most likely the shifts will be split so they will have to travel to work twice in a day or stick around work the entire day. After that 6 months if our new hire doesn’t move up to full time then that member will get a raise to $18.42 which will bring the weekly pay to about $552.60. This means the first 6 weeks a new hire will make about $570.00 a week. The next 26 weeks or so our new hire will make $468.90 a week. At about week 32 or so our new hire will receive a raise to $552.60 a week bringing that member close to the money that was being made the first week of being hired.
I hope this gives all of our members a better idea of the deal that was made with TriMet and how much we have gained from it. This is our TEAM at its best!
So tell me:
Why did we have to sign this side letter with only 6 months left in our contract?
With TriMet in such need to get new drivers wouldn’t this been a very strong tool to get TriMet to the negotiation table and productively work on a contract before it expires?
Now that we have already gave TriMet the side letter will TriMet still work with us to get a new contract in place before our current one expires?
Today our union sent out an email asking members to come show solidarity at July’s TriMet board meeting saying “We want to send a clear message to TriMet’s Board and management in July that we are united in our fight for greater rights and dignity for TriMet workers”. This will be interesting to see how things develop.