San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Agency drivers voted Oct. 15 to approve a four-year labor contract, bringing to an end a year-long struggle over wages and benefits. Union leadership and RTA management worked out the agreement on Oct. 7 with the help of a federal mediator.
The drivers brought in the Teamsters to represent them, a step that usually causes managers to break into a sweat. The bus drivers formerly worked for an outside private company and were hired to work directly for the RTA. Drivers wanted salaries and benefits closer to the pay standards of government drivers, which is much more than what private companies pay.
According to sources familiar with the terms of the agreement, the drivers won’t be getting comparable pay with other government drivers in the county, though they will be getting a raise and are guaranteed annual raises for the next four years. The RTA reportedly made concessions for seniority and uniform allowances.