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Today's Post-Gazette has an article detailing what is going on with the Port Authority. It's not exactly uplifting:

Dec. 1 has become D-Day for the Port Authority and its bus-trolley riders.

That's when a labor contract adopted by the authority board is to be imposed upon Local 85, Amalgamated Transit Union, covering 2,200 bus-trolley workers and an associated bargaining unit covering about 100 first-level supervisors.

Dec. 1 also promises to trigger a series of events that will largely shape the future of the 44-year-old agency.

Essentially, the authority wants the union to report to work under terms of its "final and best" offer made during negotiations, one providing annual 3 percent pay raises but requiring higher employee contributions for pensions and health care.

Union leaders have claimed such a contract is illegal and would constitute a lockout. They especially don't like added provisions designed to deal with excessive absenteeism and expanding the authority's ability to contract out jobs traditionally performed by the union.

I would usually side with the union on these matters, however the Amalgamated Transit Union comes off as such a corrupt entity that I'd sooner throw the bird at picketers than offer my condolences should my ride to work be interrupted. This union is part of the reason that the Port Authority is in such dire financial straits as it is - not the sole reason, mind you, but one of many contributing factors that shouldn't have occurred in the first place.

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Whether or not there will be buses running in Pittsburgh apparently gets decided this Friday. From the Post-Gazette:

The authority's nine-member board will meet in special session at 1 p.m. to decide whether to accept or reject a report from former Dickinson School of Law Professor Jane Rigler, the neutral third party appointed by the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board.

On the same day, Local 85's 20-member executive board will meet at an unannounced time to decide the same matter, based on the 22-page report Ms. Rigler released one week ago.

Also on Friday, Local 85 will hold two regularly scheduled quarterly membership meetings, at 10:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., where the recommendations for a new contract will be the main topic.

If either party decides to reject Ms. Rigler's report, the bargaining process moves to talks before state and federal mediators. Meanwhile, the union membership could authorize its leaders to strike as a measure of last resort.

If it's not one thing...

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If you live in metro Pittsburgh and ride the bus or the T, you'll probably want to fill out this survey. No guarantees that anyone will pay attention, but here's what I typed into the "Suggestions for improvement" box:

Read more... )

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Seth Warren

May 2017

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