Watch CBS News

Met Council, Metro Transit workers approve labor agreement, raising wages

Metro Transit debuts new "Trip Agent" program on all transportation services
Metro Transit debuts new "Trip Agent" program on all transportation services 02:11

MINNEAPOLIS — The Metropolitan Council and the union representing Metro Transit bus and train operators approved a labor agreement that will increase wages effective immediately.

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1005 represents roughly 2,000 bus and train operators, technicians, and public facility workers. 

In September, union members voted to authorize a strike after contracts expired in July. At the time, ATU leaders said they were short about 400 operators compared to pre-pandemic levels, even as Metro Transit ridership was up 17% from the year before.

In early February, 82% of union members voted in favor of the new agreement, which increases wages by 13% from July 2023 through August 2025. 

Now, the hourly wage for bus and train operators is $27.59 and the starting hourly wage for mechanic technicians is $37.80. The new contract includes higher wages for second and third-shift workers.

MORE: Metro Transit "TRIP Agents" to start riding light rail trains in bid to boost safety

"Without transit workers there is no transit, so we welcome this new agreement and look forward to working in partnership with the ATU Local 1005 to recruit and retain people," said General Manager Lesley Kandaras.

"Frontline transit workers, navigating a dynamic and at times hazardous working environment, are pivotal in shaping a better transit system. Moving forward, we're hopeful that upcoming negotiations will prioritize the health, well-being, and quality of life in our members who move our region," said David Stiggers, President of the ATU Local 1005.

RELATED: Met Council says Blue Line extension could cost up to $3.2B, will be "competitive" for federal funding

Metro Transit is looking to hire more transit workers, especially as it prepares for to open three bus lines in 2025. 

Note: The above video first aired on Feb. 22, 2024

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.