The Starting Point for the New PAT Contract

The County Executive has stated he will be the driver of the bus, so to speak, on the next PAT contract, noting that he’s "going to be leading the charge". The current four year contract between PAT and the ATU rank and file expires June 30th (first level supervisors expires July 31st). Seems like only yesterday the current labor contract was being negotiated: those negotiations involved the former County Executive, the former Governor, PAT and ATU officials, and other national unions when meetings were whisked away from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC.

The status quo on the expiring contract is as follows based on the December 2, 2008 contract ratification notice: ATU bargaining unit employees got a 3% pay increase on January 1st of this year following increases in the three previous years; they are paying 3% toward health care but that level of contribution was met on January 1, 2011; a $500 monthly pension supplement is firmly in place; and employees were segmented into various groups based on age and length of service to determine eligibility for post-retirement medical insurance.

Outsourcing has not been made mentioned in a contract negotiation since 2005, but an outside vendor is operating a bus route as a result of service reductions in March of 2011 (PAT vacated routes and the vendor was granted approval to operate them).

Those could be considered the "micro level" issues; big picture items include what the state does in regards to transportation issues (roads, highways, transit); fundamental changes to the PAT structure (the right to strike, monopoly powers, bankruptcy provisions for legacy costs); and the opening of the North Shore Connector and how the public views service and fares on that extension in light of any planned service reductions system wide due to the budget situation.