An Extension and a Raise at AC Transit?

This is from a Speak out Now newsletter written with workers at AC Transit, a public transit agency based in Oakland, California and serving much of the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Well, it looks like ATU members at AC Transit have gotten an extension of our current contract, with a ‘bonus’, ‘Appreciation Pay’ and a solid 10% raise over the next 3 years (with no take-aways). Sounds pretty good, except when you figure in that inflation is currently around 7% annually. With inflation running high, that same raise with COLA actually enforced would be around 7% for each of those 3 same years (if inflation doesn’t go any higher). The Hazard Appreciation pay isn’t too bad either, except it is way after the peak of the pandemic. We were out there putting ourselves and our families in harm’s way. We were out there working with no shields, no social distancing, minimal PPE, no vaccine, and people acting a fool. It’s a miracle that more people didn’t get sicker or pass away. This is at an unprecedented time, when new drivers are being offered a $1,500 bonus, and there is a $500 incentive if we are able to recruit any friends to come and drive for AC Transit. If that doesn’t sound like they need us, that we don’t have any leverage, and that WE are the ones out there who keep things moving, then what else does!?