Metro Transit union members agree to pay freezeby Dan Olson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Metro Transit union members have agreed to a new contract that includes a wage freeze.
The 2,200 union members, including bus and rail operators, agreed to the two-year wage freeze with their employer, the Metropolitan Council.
Union president Michelle Sommers said the members' ratification acknowledges the likelihood that state lawmakers will cut transit funding as part of erasing a state budget deficit.
"I think everybody is always worried about a pay freeze," Sommers said. "I mean with the cost of living going up and the cost of gas and everything going up and agreeing to contribute a little more to your health care, you do have less money in your pocket at a time when everyone actually needs more. Unfortunately, we do understand the budget at the Capitol."
Sommers said union members and the Met Council agreed to share increased health plan costs as part of an agreement not to reduce health benefits.