TEAMSTERS LOCAL 533
NORTHERN NEVADA/NORTHEASTERN CALIFORNIA


BREAKING NEWS


UPDATE 5:58 p.m. PDT 4 August/ 00:58 GMT 5 August: Secret ballots were counted Friday afternoon, Aug. 4.
Union members approved the new contract with MV Transportation of Texas.



MEDIA ADVISORY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
GARY WATSON, PRESIDENT
Teamsters Union Local 533
(775) 348-6060 ext. 104

Teamsters and transit contractor reach tentative agreement
Strike avoided pending worker vote

RENO, NEV. (28 July 2017) — The Teamsters Union and the Texas-based contractor that manages the local transit system have reached a tentative four-year contract.

After an all-day session that went into Wednesday evening, an agreement was reached. Union members will review and vote on the contract next week. [UPDATE: Voting will take place all day Friday, August 4. Ballots will be counted starting at 5:00 p.m. PDT.]

"We had a very respectful meeting between the union leadership, our negotiating committee and MV Transportation's chief operating officer," stated Teamsters Local 533 President Gary Watson.

MV Transportation COO Kevin Klika personally traveled to Reno to work on details. The four-year deal is a first, as agreements with Regional Transportation System of Washoe County contractors and the union have usually had three-year terms.

"We were already close on wage issues but health care was the sticking point which brought us to the doorstep of striking," Watson stated.

The existing two-tiered, three-plan health system has been eliminated and workers will now be enrolled in the union Delta Plan started January 1. Supervisors will be eligible for the union plan a year later.

"That takes away a lot of worry with the Affordable Care Act under fire in Washington," Watson said. "The endangered ACA had been one of the available choices."

The Teamsters Union represents 187 workers in the main bargaining group, including drivers, dispatchers, mechanics, maintenance and support workers. Under a separate contract, they represent eight supervisors. Not all are union members but they are represented by and covered under the Teamsters contract according to law. MV has run the system since 2011.

Existing operators, dispatch and maintenance personnel will see a 9.1 percent increase in wages over the contract's life, starting with an immediate bump to $21 per hour, as will starting supervisors. New bus operators will get a $2.00 per hour increase upon starting, bringing them to $14 per hour, and a 9.1 percent increase over the contract term.

"We hope this will cut back on the turnover rate," Watson said, adding that "two of three new drivers hired over the past three years have quit. At $2,500 apiece in training costs, that's $285,000," he noted. [1]

Starting service (utility) workers will get an immediate $3.50 per hour raise to $15.00 per hour beginning wage, then seven percent over four years. All workers will get additional hourly payments toward their retirement plans.

The union has agreed to drop federal charges filed against the company for illegally bringing in strikebreakers without a strike. Some were even given RTC uniforms and allowed to drive routes before negotiations even resumed. (Video and photos at NevadaLabor.com/) Under MV's contract with RTC, the taxpayers will be obligated pick up all strikebreaker expenses. MV's agreement expires in 2019.

The only strike since the modern transit system was created occurred in 2002, although workers have come close to the brink on at least two occasions since.

The employees voted in January to authorize a strike at any time, reaffirmed by a July 14 vote rejecting a deficient company offer.

The Regional Transportation Commission is comprised of Reno City Councilmembers Neoma Jardon and Paul McKenzie; Washoe County Commissioners Marsha Berkbigler and Bob Lucey and Sparks City Councilmember Ron Smith. Easily used contact info for all of them is available at NevadaLabor.com/

Teamsters Local 533 has represented RTC bus system and RTC Access paratransit personnel for more than a quarter-century. Chartered in northern Nevada in 1934, the union averages about 2,000 members in a variety of businesses and government agencies throughout northern Nevada, eastern California and the Tahoe basin. The union has been active in northern Nevada since at least since 1919 when Teamsters Local 595 represented workers.

The history of the RTC/Teamsters relationship, including the 2002 strike/lockout, may be accessed via NevadaLabor.com/
__________
[1] Of 173 hired over the past three years, only 59 remain. Training costs $2,500 per worker. Thus, $2,500 x 114 former trainees = $ 285,000.00.


Tired of tiers, municipal bus line workers authorize strike

By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 7-27-2017

 



Illegal worker intimidation 101: Foreign RTC contractor broke the law by putting strikebreakers to work during employee voting on management's contract proposal. It was overwhelmingly rejected. Strike authorized. More strikebreakers shilling on the streets.

Reno 14 July 2014 — Invasion of yellow-jacketed Texas Rats: Strikebreakers put to work even with no strike. That's a lotta chutzpah, even from the Confederacy.

View video of our taxpayer-paid tourists shot July 14

PREMATURE UNION BUSTER — Dressed as an actual RTC worker, the above imported strikebreaker was caught illegally operating an RTC Citifare bus on Wednesday, July 19, 2017. We know she's an extraterrestrial because she apparently has eyes on the top of her head.

The union immediately filed charges of illegal unfair labor practices with federal officials.
Stay tuned.

Updated 20 and 26 July 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
GARY WATSON, PRESIDENT
Teamsters Union Local 533
(775) 348-6060 ext. 104
E-mail <gary@teamsters533.org>

Texas Hold'em—>RTC Washoe transit system workers overwhelmingly reject contract offer, strike authorized
Strikebreakers on the streets of Reno-Sparks without a strike
Charges of illegal unfair labor practices filed with federal authorities

System manager up for a big raise
Update: He got it just in time for a strike

     RENO, NEV. (20 July 2017) — The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC) will consider a substantial raise for its executive director on July 20 while almost 200 of his workers remain under threat of replacement.
     "We found it a positive step that management appeared to heed our call to send out-of-state strikebreakers home after we caught them illegally driving buses last week with no strike," stated Teamsters Local 533 President Gary Watson.
     "We were dismayed late Wednesday to learn that strikebreakers are back on the streets. We will file additional federal charges," he added.
     "A foreign-owned former management company precipitated a major strike then ordered an employee lockout in 2002 and we have come close to striking several times since," Watson stated.
     "Following in their footsteps, during its first year on the job in 2012, current contractor MV Transportation of Texas brought in and housed paid strikebreakers without RTC permission. We never came close to striking but despite our protests, the commission retroactively paid all the unauthorized strikebreaker expenses which should have been borne by the contractor.
     "All these mis-managed millions paid over the years could have been put to better use improving transportation. Our members hear constant complaints from senior citizens, students, low-wage workers, the sick and disabled about inadequate or out-of-reach service," Watson added.
     RTC will meet beginning at 1:00 PDT July 20 in the chambers of the Washoe County Commission, 1001 E. Ninth Street, Building A, Reno NV 89512.
     The board will consider raising the salary of Executive Director Lee Gibson up to five percent. His salary and benefits for 2016 totaled $322,510.59. [1]
     "On RTCWashoe.com, Mr. Gibson brags about having cut costs 30 percent since 2009. His compensation has risen 17 percent over the past three years while his transit system workers got nothing from 2011 through 2013 and a stingy 2 percent annually the past three years," Watson said.
     "We haven't even been keeping up with regional inflation," he added, "which does not take into account that the Truckee Meadows today is a gold rush boomtown with prices skyrocketing," he added. [2]
     "Rubbing salt in workers' wounds, in 2012, Mr. Gibson supported RTC giving away more than $50 million in corporate welfare," Watson said.
     "We take the early return of strikebreakers before negotiations as proof-positive of bad faith bargaining and intent to provoke a walkout and lockout like 2002," Watson said.      "This is classic union-busting and the intimidation is familiar," he added.
     "Our members were not only disappointed by this year's meager contract offer, but were further dismayed to learn that while they were voting on July 14, a crew of expensive, professional strikebreakers were ordered to start operating buses," Watson noted.
     "That's illegal and we have filed federal charges," Watson added. (Photos and video above.)
     The employees voted in January to authorize a strike at any time and the July 14 vote reaffirmed that authorization.
     "We still want to negotiate a fair contract," Watson said, "but we certainly won't play Texas Hold'em with our members' livelihoods. We will not stand for stretching out the process over a year as MV Transportation did five years ago,"he added.
     "The time to get serious is upon us and serious actions must be and will be initiated," he stated.
RTC contractor MV Transportation of Texas has agreed to return to the bargaining table on July 26. They will be represented for the first time by their chief operating officer.
     "As always, we would prefer to negotiate directly with the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County which is comprised of five Reno, Sparks and Washoe County elected officials," Watson added.
     "Washoe County is now a boomtown expanding on all fronts and the transportation system is not keeping up. RTC instead spends money on PR such as simulated news segments which are actually paid commercials inserted into local TV news broadcasts," Watson asserted.
     The Regional Transportation Commission is comprised of Reno City Councilmembers Neoma Jardon and Paul McKenzie; Washoe County Commissioners Marsha Berkbigler and Bob Lucey and Sparks City Councilmember Ron Smith. Easily used contact info for all of them is available at NevadaLabor.com/
     The Teamsters Union represents 187 workers in this bargaining group, including drivers, dispatchers, mechanics, maintenance and support workers. Not all are union members but they are represented by and covered under the Teamsters contract according to law. MV has run the system since 2011.
     "We have been down this road many times before," Watson said.
     "It's much worse now. We have new drivers living in weekly motels because their starting wages are so low," he added. "That's why two of three new-hires quit. This mismanagement has resulted in wasting well over a quarter-million taxpayer dollars in just the past three years," he noted. [3]
     "One of the major contract sticking points is the onerous two-tiered wage system which creates second-class employees," Watson said.
     Senior drivers earn about $21 per hour plus benefits including health care. MV wants to keep second-tier employees at the bare minimum allowed by the endangered Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) which workers can't afford for themselves, let alone their families. Their only health care may be the emergency room which costs the most taxpayer money.
     New drivers earn only minimum wage during training and start at $12 per hour.
     "That's basically minimum wage adjusted for inflation from its 1968 peak," Watson said. [4]
     "Our members' wages and benefits have yet to fully recover from the recession," Watson said.
     "For decades, RTC has retained out-of-state or foreign-owned management companies to squeeze local workers.
     "In the past, RTC has even hired staff duplicating and overlapping the contractor's purview and has paid bonuses even when none was merited by for-profit, non-Nevada management corporations. This is textbook government waste," Watson said.
     "Out-of-state corporations and local officials should not make local transit users face this kind of uncertainty every two or three years, but they continue to do so," Watson added.
     Teamsters Local 533 has represented RTC bus system and RTC Access paratransit drivers and support personnel for more than a quarter-century. Chartered in northern Nevada in 1934, the union averages about 2,000 members in a variety of businesses and government agencies throughout northern Nevada, eastern California and the Tahoe basin. The union has been active in northern Nevada since at least since 1919 when Teamsters Local 595 represented workers.
     The history of the RTC/Teamsters relationship, including the 2002 strike/lockout, may be accessed via NevadaLabor.com/
__________
[1] https://www.rtcwashoe.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Item-5.2-Executive-Director-Performance-Evaluation.pdf and http://TransparentNevada.com/
[2] "Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U (all urban consumers for the western U.S.) rose 2.5 percent. (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices increased 3.8 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.7 percent over the year. (See table 1.)" — U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Western Information Office, June 2017.
     https://www.bls.gov/regions/west/news-release/consumerpriceindex_west.htm (not seasonally adjusted)
[3] Of 173 hired over the past three years, only 59 remain. Training costs $2,500 per worker. Thus, $2,500 x 114 former trainees = $ 285,000.00.
[4] $1.60 in 1968 becomes $11.28 as of June 2017, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Inflation Calculator.

The Ides of July 2017
Texas Hold'em—>RTC Washoe transit system workers overwhelmingly reject contract offer, strike authorized
Strikebreakers on the streets of Reno-Sparks without a strike
Charges of illegal unfair labor practices filed with federal authorities

RENO, NEV. (15 July 2017) — Workers at the Reno-Sparks-Washoe County regional transportation system overwhelmingly rejected a contract proposal from the Texas management company contracted to run the service.

"Our members were not only disappointed by the meager contract offer, but were further dismayed to learn that while they were voting on July 14, a crew of expensive, professional strikebreakers were ordered to start operating buses," according to Teamsters Union Local 533 President Gary Watson.

"That's illegal and we have filed federal charges," Watson added. (Photo and video above.)

The employees voted in January to authorize a strike at any time and the July 14 vote reaffirmed that authorization.

"We still want to negotiate a fair contract," Watson said, "but we certainly won't play Texas Hold'em with our members' livelihoods. We will not stand for stretching out the process over a year as MV Transportation did five years ago," he added.

"The time to get serious is upon us and serious actions must be and will be initiated," he stated.

Texas-based MV has agreed to return to the bargaining table on July 26. They will be represented for the first time by their chief operating officer.

"As always, we would prefer to negotiate directly with the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC) which is comprised of five Reno, Sparks and Washoe County elected officials," Watson added.

"As an act of good faith, MV should first send the strikebreakers back from whence they came rather than pay them for not working or working illegally with our taxpayer money," Watson said.

The Teamsters Union represents 187 workers in this bargaining group, including drivers, dispatchers, mechanics, maintenance and support workers. Not all are union members but they are represented by and covered under the Teamsters contract according to law. MV has run the system since 2011.

"We have been down this road many times before," Watson said.

"It's much worse now. We have new drivers living in weekly motels because their starting wages are so low," he added. "That's why two of three new-hires quit. This mismanagement has resulted in wasting well over a quarter-million taxpayer dollars in just the past three years," he noted. [1]

"One of the major contract sticking points is the onerous two-tiered wage system which creates second-class employees," Watson said.

Senior drivers earn about $21 per hour plus benefits including health care. MV wants to keep second-tier employees at the bare minimum allowed by the endangered Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) which workers can't afford for themselves, let alone their families. Their only health care may be the emergency room which costs the most taxpayer money.

New drivers earn only minimum wage during training and start at $12 per hour.

"That's basically minimum wage adjusted for inflation from its 1968 peak," Watson said. [2]

"Our members' wages and benefits have yet to fully recover from the recession," Watson said.

"For decades, RTC has retained out-of-state or foreign-owned management companies to squeeze local workers.

"In the past, RTC has even hired staff duplicating and overlapping the contractor's purview and has paid bonuses to the for-profit corporation even when none was merited. This is textbook government waste," Watson said.

"Non-Nevada corporations and local officials should not make local transit users face this kind of uncertainty every two or three years, but they continue to do so," Watson added.

"A foreign-owned former management company precipitated a major strike then ordered an employee lockout in 2002 and we have come close to striking several times since," Watson stated.

"Following in their footsteps. during its first year on the job in 2012, MV brought in and housed paid strikebreakers without RTC permission. We never came close to a strike but despite our protests, the commission nonetheless retroactively paid all the unauthorized strikebreaker expenses which should have been borne by the contractor.

"All these mis-managed millions paid over the years could have been put to better use improving transportation. Our members hear constant complaints from senior citizens, students, low-wage workers, the sick and disabled about inadequate or out-of-reach service.

"Washoe County is now a boomtown expanding on all fronts and the transportation system is not keeping up. RTC instead spends money on PR such as simulated news segments which are actually paid commercials inserted into local TV news broadcasts," Watson asserted.

The Regional Transportation Commission is comprised of Reno City Councilmembers Neoma Jardon and Paul McKenzie; Washoe County Commissioners Marsha Berkbigler and Bob Lucey and Sparks City Councilmember Ron Smith. Easily used contact info for all of them is available at NevadaLabor.com/

Teamsters Local 533 has represented RTC bus system and RTC Access paratransit drivers and support personnel for more than a quarter-century. Chartered in northern Nevada in 1934, the union averages about 2,000 members in a variety of businesses and government agencies throughout northern Nevada, eastern California and the Tahoe basin.

The history of the RTC/Teamsters relationship, including the 2002 strike/lockout, may be accessed via NevadaLabor.com/
__________
[1] Of 173 hired in the past three years, only 59 remain. Training costs $2,500 per worker. Thus, $2,500 x 114 former trainees = $ 285,000.00.

[2] $1.60 in 1968 becomes $11.28 as of June 2017. However, the CPI of today has had food and housing costs removed because they are "too volatile." Understating actual inflation has been a hallmark of Washington for decades.

UPDATE: RTC contractor MV Transportation of Texas has agreed to return to the bargaining table on July 26. They will be represented for the first time by their chief operating officer. STAY TUNED.

 

Union busters in town to disrupt Reno-Sparks-Washoe bus system
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Special Online Edition 7-13-2017 / Updated 7-14, 7-15, 7-16, 7-20 and 7-26-2017

 

Listening in: Teamsters Union and Regional Transportation Commission fight over audio recorders
KRNV TV-4 / 3-7-2016

 

Teamsters OK new contract with Reno-Sparks-Washoe transit system

September 23, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
ANDREW BARBANO / U-News
NevadaLabor.com
(775) 786-1455

RENO, Nev. Sept. 23 (U-News) — Members of Teamsters Union Local 533 today ratified a new three-year agreement with Texas-based MV Transportation, the contractor employing workers operating the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County transit system.

In secret balloting on August 10, members voted down the previous contract offer from the company.

The earlier two-year contract expired on June 30. The new three-year deal is retroactive to July 1 and includes substantial improvements to employee wages and benefits.

There were no work stoppages. Unlike the August referendum which required members to show up and vote on a single day, workers were able to vote by mail. The secret ballots were opened and counted today.

Local 533 has represented RTC bus system and RTC Access paratransit drivers and support personnel for a quarter-century. The contract covers drivers, mechanics and dispatchers employed by MV Transportation, a third party hired by the elected regional transportation board which is comprised of elected members of the Reno and Sparks city councils and the Washoe County Commission.

Chartered in northern Nevada in 1934, Teamsters Local 533 averages about 2,000 members in a variety of businesses and government agencies throughout northern Nevada, eastern California and the Tahoe basin.

The history of negotiations with RTC representatives and the union may be accessed via NevadaLabor.com/

-30-

September 5, 2014

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
ANDREW BARBANO / U-News
NevadaLabor.com
(775) 786-1455

Teamsters reach new tentative agreement with transit contractor

RENO, Nev. Sept. 5 (U-News) — Negotiators from Teamsters Union Local 533 and Texas-based MV Transportation this afternoon reached a new tentative agreement for workers operating the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County transit system.

In secret balloting on August 10, members voted down the previous contract offer from the company.

The earlier two-year contract expired on June 30. The contractor and the union agreed to an extension and had reached a tentative contract at deadline on July 31.

A federal mediator has been involved. There have been no work stoppages. The union negotiating team is recommending ratification of the new proposal. Unlike the August referendum which required members to show up and vote on a single day, workers will be able to vote by mail. The secret ballots will be printed and sent later this month.

"This will make it more convenient for more union members to vote on their contract," Teamsters Local 533 President Gary Watson stated. Watson and Teamsters Secretary-Treasurer Debbie Calkins again led the union negotiating team.

Local 533 has represented RTC bus system and RTC Access paratransit drivers and support personnel for a quarter-century. The current negotiations involved drivers, mechanics and dispatchers employed by MV Transportation, a third party hired by the elected regional transportation board which is comprised of elected members of the Reno and Sparks city councils and the Washoe County Commission.

Chartered in northern Nevada in 1934, Teamsters Local 533 averages about 2,000 members in a variety of businesses and government agencies throughout northern Nevada, eastern California and the Tahoe basin.

The history of negotiations with RTC representatives and the union, including past strike activity, may be accessed via NevadaLabor.com/


August 10, 2014
4:33 p.m. PDT

TEAMSTERS VOTE DOWN CONTRACT WITH TRANSIT CONTRACTOR

RENO, Nev. Aug. 10 (U-News) — Members of Teamsters Union Local 533 this afternoon voted down a contract offer from MV Transportation, the Texas-based contractor paid to manage the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County transit system.

The previous two-year contract expired on June 30. The contractor and the union agreed to an extension and reached a tentative contract at deadline on July 31.

A federal mediator has been involved and may call a cooling off period as early as Monday. Union members will report to work as scheduled.

Local 533 has represented RTC bus system and RTC Access paratransit drivers and support personnel for a quarter-century. The current negotiations involve drivers, mechanics and dispatchers employed by MV Transportation, a third party hired by the elected Regional Transportation Board which is comprised of elected members of the Reno and Sparks city councils and the Washoe County Commission.

Chartered in northern Nevada in 1934, Teamsters Local 533 averages about 2,000 members in a variety of businesses and government agencies throughout northern Nevada, eastern California and the Tahoe basin.

The history of negotiations with RTC representatives and the union, including past strike activity, may be accessed via NevadaLabor.com/

CWA 9413/AFL-CIO

-30-

 

Déjà vu all over again?
Hot August Strike 8-5-2002 — Union strikers display a personal message to RTC Transit Manager Mike Steele. Stay tuned for déjà vu all over again.

8-1-2014 — A tentative agreement has been reached with the operators of the Reno-Sparks-Washoe transit system and Teamsters Local 533. Members will take a ratification vote on August 10.

JUNE 30 UPDATE: Current contract extended through July 31, 2014.

6-29-2014 Update: Strike authorization passed overwhelmingly.

27 June 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
Debbie Calkins, Local 533 Secretary-Treasurer (775) 348-6060 ext. 18
Gary Watson, Local 533 President (775) 348-6060 ext. 14

Teamsters contract with Washoe transit system expires June 30, extension possible
Strike authorization vote set for Sunday, June 29

RENO, Nev. — Teamsters Local 533 today responded to several media requests for a statement regarding negotiations with MV Transportation, the Texas-based contractor that manages the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County transit system.

"Our current two-year contract expires on Monday, June 30," stated Local 533 President Gary Watson, the union's lead negotiator.

"Contract talks between the company and the union have been making progress, although too much remains to finalize an agreement by midnight on Monday," he added.

"We expect to mutually agree to an extension and to conclude negotiations soon. As a normal part of the process, the union membership will vote on strike authorization this Sunday, June 29. This does not initiate a strike. It does empower the union leadership to call a work stoppage at any time beginning on July 1," Watson stated.

Local 533 has represented RTC bus system and RTC Access paratransit drivers and support personnel for a quarter-century.

Chartered in northern Nevada in 1934, Teamsters Local 533 averages about 2,000 members in a variety of businesses and government agencies throughout northern Nevada, eastern California and the Tahoe basin.

The history of negotiations with RTC representatives and the union, including past strike activity, may be accessed via NevadaLabor.com/

JUNE 30 UPDATE: Current contract extended through July 31, 2014.
6-29-2014 Update: Strike authorization passed overwhelmingly.



NevadaLabor.com/TEAMSTERS LOCAL 533 ARCHIVES

Teamsters 2014-2016 ARCHIVE

Teamsters 2011-2013 ARCHIVE

Teamsters 2010

Teamsters 2009

2008-09 Teamsters RTC/Ride negotiations
Links to 16-year Teamsters 533 news-photo-strike archives starting with the 1997 UPS strike

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Teamsters 2004 Strike Archive

 

 

 

 

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