After a minority of union members narrowly rejected a tentative agreement with the LACMTA, the SMART Transportation Division has been granted a day to day contract extension following the MTA General Board Meeting held on Thursday July 24th. This is standard operating procedure and a common negotiating tool employed in the event that contract negotiations go beyond the previous contract terms. The previous contract expired on June 30th. Contrary to popular belief, the MTA is not legally required to abide by the previous contract terms once it has expired.
The day to day extension will ensure the current pay rates, benefits contributions by the MTA, and current work rules will remain in effect while the two sides continue the negotiations process. This is important because it gives the Local Chairpersons a framework to fight cases and arbitrations currently in the process with the MTA. Without this extension the employees would be at the mercy of MTA Management without any contract provisions to protect them.
The General Committee wants the members to be aware that none of the employee protections, pay or benefit increases, to include retroactive pay, that were contained in the rejected tentative agreement will occur and they are currently off the table. Union members will be advised as the negotiations process continues.