Metro Transit union workers overwhelmingly approved a contract that will give them a 2 percent raise in each of the three years covered by the agreement.
The agreement, approved by 92 percent of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1005 members voting on Sunday and Monday, is retroactive to Aug. 1, 2012, when the old agreement expired. The new contract, which covers 2,300 Metro Transit bus drivers, train operators, mechanics and support staff, will expire July 31, 2015.
"It's not a bad [agreement]," said Michelle Sommers, the local's president. "We didn't get everything we wanted, and they didn't get everything they wanted."
The employees' health care will remain the same although there will be cost increases that take effect in the last two years, she said.
"I'm happy it's all wrapped up," said Sommers, noting that negotiations began last March.
The management committee for the Metropolitan Council, which oversees the transit system, will vote on the agreement on Wednesday and the full council will vote on Jan. 23.
"We're very pleased the contract was ratified with overwhelming support of the membership," said Metro Transit spokesman John Siqveland. "Both sides worked hard to get something to come together that would get this level of support."
A strike in 2004 brought Metro Transit to a halt for 44 days.
MARY LYNN SMITH