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TriMet, union could end contract dispute next week

TriMet and the union representing most of its workers could end their long running labor dispute this coming week.

The TriMet Board of Directors is scheduled to vote on a tentative new contact at its wednesday meeting. The membership of Amalgamated Transit Union 757 will vote on it Friday.

The parties reached the agreement with the assistance of State Conciliator Janet Gillman. The agreement sets the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement for four years through Nov. 30, 2016.

Although neither side will discuss the details of the contact before it is approved, they say its passage will also resolved related cases pending before the Oregon Employment Relations Board and the Court of Appeals.

The votes come as the improving economy has brightened TriMet's economic outlook. TriMet has been insisting the members of ATU 757 must pay a portion of their health care costs to assure the agency's financial future.