by Emily Gersema – Oct. 14, 2011 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
Bus drivers will vote on contract terms with one of Phoenix’s bus contractors, First Transit, within two weeks, but union talks with the city’s biggest bus-service contractor, Veolia Transportation Services, remain stalled.
The Phoenix bus drivers’ Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1433 announced that it has reached a tentative collective-bargaining agreement with First Transit, which has more than a dozen of Phoenix’s contracted bus routes in west Phoenix areas, while Veolia has the majority.
The union will vote on the First Transit deal Oct. 26. The agreement would affect about 270 drivers, said Bob Bean, ATU Local 1433 president.
First Transit has had a contract with Phoenix since 2007. The four-year contract is worth more than $82 million. Veolia’s contract, a five-year deal, is worth $385 million.
Bean said the union hasn’t met with Veolia for a few weeks. Talks have been off and on since the contract expired 15 months ago.