From Bloomington, IL, to Saskatoon, SK; from Erie, PA, to Oakland, CA; from St. Catharines, ON to Union City, NJ, and so many places in between, ATU members took unprecedented action across North America ? the likes of which the ATU has never seen ? to galvanize riders and transportation supporters to demand more, better and safer transit, and an increase in transit funding.
But our work doesn?t stop there. To build on the success of May Transit Action Month we will continue actions such as ?Transit Tuesdays?, along with more leafleting, rallies, and ride-alongs with elected officials through the end of the year.
Join your brothers and sisters to make sure our voices are heard: “We want funding for transit now!” Contact your local and get involved NOW.
Hero Portland, OR bus driver saves wandering toddler
Oregon transit bus driver Bill Clark is being hailed as a hero after rescuing a toddler who was wandering the streets of Gresham, OR last Friday. The child walked out of his apartment while his father was sleeping.
A member of Local?757?- Portland, OR, who has been a city bus driver for nearly seven years, and also a former Greyhound driver for 10 years, Clark said his heart almost stopped when he saw the young boy approaching a very busy street
?To be honest with you, from the time I saw the child I?m not sure I looked out to see the other cars, I was concentrating on him. I think there was a good possibility he could have gotten hit,? Clark said, who thinks there?s nothing heroic about what he did.
The ATU salutes brother Clark for his bravery and quick action.?Read more.
Gainesville transit employees work too hard to be struggling to pay bills
ATU Local?1579?- Gainesville, FL is standing up and fighting for a fair wage plan after the city of Gainesville refused to
bargain over transit worker pay progressions. Currently the workers have no way to obtain a single pay raise, and average pay is the lowest in Florida. Yet, the transit agency has the highest productivity in the state.
The workers declared an impasse in contract talks and took to the Gainesville Sun to argue their case. ?As the representative of RTS? hourly workers, I feel that RTS employees work too hard to still be struggling to pay their bills.?RTS drivers pick up more passengers per hour and service more wheelchair-bound patrons than their peers around the state of Florida,? Local President Mary Frances Donahue wrote in an opinion piece.
The lack of opportunity and pay advancement has resulted in high turnover, as employees are moving away from Gainesville in search of transit jobs with better compensation.
Members of Local 1579 are making sure their voices are heard on pay progression.?On June 5, at 5:30 p.m., workers will show up in full force at the Gainesville City Commission meeting, City Hall auditorium, 200 East University Avenue in Gainesville.?Read more.
NYC school bus drivers meet with Mayor de Blasio to bring back job protections
Leaders of Local?1181?- New York, NY recently met with NYC Mayor de Blasio at City Hall to discuss the reinstatement of job protections removed by ex-Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Bloomberg created chaos in the city and a school bus strike in February 2013 by eliminating long-held employee protections that ensured that the most experienced school bus drivers and matrons were on the job
During his campaign de Blasio?signed a letter stating that he would revisit the protections when elected.Local 1181?President Michael Cordiello, said the City Hall sitdown ?was ?very productive and cordial,? adding that ?both sides agreed to additional meetings on the topic in the very near future.??Read more.
London, ON members energized by ATU training
London, Ontario members took part in new, innovative ATU training to learn strategies to empower members to get involved, make our locals stronger, and prepare for the battles ahead.
These programs are a vital step in engaging our membership and galvanizing our riders into a potent political force. The London, ON members were gearing up for actions that will coincide with a critical election set to happen later this month.
The training also covered how to be an effective union member in a hostile work environment, building rider and community coalitions, strategies for bargaining, and other topics.?Read more.
More are being scheduled; so don?t miss your opportunity to take part in these exciting trainings. Contact your local officers and tell them you want ATU training or email us directly firstname.lastname@example.org.
ATU Connecticut joins Sen. Murphy to push for transit funding
Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) joined with ATU members from across Connecticut to call for more funding for public transit and infrastructure projects.
Standing on bridge in New Haven, CT, Sen. Murphy proposed increasing the federal gas tax by 6-cent-per-gallon in 2015 and 2016. He said the increase would raise the gas tax up to what inflation would have brought it up to after 20 years.
?This has always been a bipartisan issue,? said Murphy. ?Republican and Democratic presidents increase the gas tax.?
Also joining with ATU members were members of local chambers of commerce, other unions, representatives from workforce programs and transportation and environmental advocates.
Currently federal funding accounts for more than half of Connecticut?s transportation spending.?Read more.
ATU hails Maya Angelou as streetcar pioneer
Mourning the recent death of legendary poet and writer Maya Angelou, ATU lauded her as pioneer for women in transit before she became a world-renowned writer and civil rights activist.
As San Francisco?s first African American streetcar conductor, Angelou was an inspiration to ATU?s members.
“Dr. Angelou was on the front lines during the Civil Rights movement helping Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. organize the Poor People?s March in Memphis, TN and as a coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference,” said ATU International President Larry Hanley. “As a champion for the disenfranchised and a drum major for justice, we can honor her extraordinary life by continuing to be driven by her words of wisdom: ?We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.? ??Read more.