MV Transportation employees ratified a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) five weeks after voting to authorize a strike, according to a press release sent by Teamsters 727.
Teamsters 727 is a local union representing shuttle and paratransit drivers, including intercampus shuttle drivers — who transport students between Loyola’s Lake Shore and Water Tower campuses — and 8-RIDE drivers at the university. The drivers are employed by MV Transportation, an agency which oversees the operation of the vehicles.
The new CBA — an agreement establishing employment conditions — was ratified Oct. 9. The agreement will increase wages for current employees 17.5 percent, and will raise the starting rate to a record $15 an hour, according to the release.
The agreement also increased the vacation days available for eligible full-time Loyola drivers, giving them seven paid holidays and at least one paid personal day a year, according to the release. Full-time drivers can start accumulating paid vacation after three years, two years sooner than the previous contract.
New health care options are available to drivers under the new agreement, according to the release. It said the new options will “help to ease the burden of health care costs from Local 727 members’ shoulders.”
John Coli, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727, said the contract was the result of members standing united and demanding respect.
“I am very proud of our MV Loyola members for standing together, even in the face of a potential [Unfair Labor Practice] strike,” Coli said in the release. “The Union bargaining committee was able to negotiate a strong agreement because these men and women were unwavering in their solidarity and demand for respect.”
In an email to the Phoenix, Jeff Womack, chief marketing officer for MV Transportation, wrote he was pleased MV and Teamsters reached an agreement.
“The terms are for three years and provide significant improvements to the wage and benefits of our Loyola employees over the life of the agreement,” Womack wrote.
Sarah Howell, a spokesperson at Loyola, said in a statement on behalf of Katie Fincannon, Loyola University Director of Business Operations and Capital Planning, Loyola was not involved in the CBA but was pleased to see an agreement reached.
“While the University was not a party to the Collective Bargaining Agreement between MV Transportation and Teamsters Union Local 727, we are pleased that both parties came to an agreement,” Howell wrote.
Teamsters 727 couldn’t be reached for comment.