PAT and Union Reach Contract Deal

Aug 9, 2012

The Port Authority (PAT) of Allegheny County and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 85 have reached a tentative contract agreement that could be the first step in staving off massive service cuts. The agreement was announced Thursday by County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. In a written statement from the Executive’s office, Fitzgerald said the agreement will be considered by the Local 85 membership on August 19th and the Port Authority Board will take up the issue in the following days. No details of the plan are to be officially released until those votes are taken. The Port Authority is set to cut service by 35 percent September 2nd in order to close a $64 million budget gap. Last week, while in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett said the state would not give any additional funds to the Authority until both the union and management agreed to substantial cuts. Corbett would not put a dollar figure on either the state’s commitment or the amount of money the authority and the union would have to trim. The cuts set to take effect in September would include the elimination 46 of PAT’s 102 routes, the lay off more than 400 union and non-union employees and the closure of the Collier maintenance garage. County Controller Chelsa Wagner reacted to the agreement by saying, “I applaud the leadership of the ATU Local 85, the Port Authority of Allegheny County, and the County Executive Rich Fitzgerald for all their hard work toward averting further transit cuts and layoffs… Now the governor must do his part to stop the weakening of our region’s economy that will result if these services (sic) cuts go into effect as planned.”