Published 12 Jan, 2012
TWU Local 252 members overwhelming voted to ratify a new contract with Veolia Transportation Inc., the company responsible for the new Nassau Inter County Express (NICE) bus system in Nassau County as of January 1.
The contract was ratified by a tally of 400 “Yes” votes 29 “No” votes by fixed route drivers and mechanics, and 50 “Yes” votes to 39 “No” votes by paratransit drivers and mechanics, and takes effect immediately.
“We all worked very hard under a very tight timeline to reach a new agreement,” said Patricia Bowden, president of TWU Local 252, representing nearly 800 workers at the new company. “This contract is a major step forward in protecting jobs, health care and retirement. It’s a winning scenario for everybody to have TWU members, with years of experience, on the job doing all we can to provide quality service to our passengers.
The new contract includes pay raises in every year of the agreement: Three percent in 2012, 2013 and 2014, 3.5 percent in 2015 and four percent in 2016.
Former LI Bus employees will retain their seniority at the new company, and the contract includes a grievance procedure, which requires “just cause” in the case of employee discipline.
Veolia Transportation will pay 80 percent of the cost of employee health care under terms of the new agreement, with employees contributing 20 percent. The company will also contribute to a 401(K) retirement savings plan for all eligible employees.