In a familiar pattern, TriMet and the union representing most of its employees are disagreeing over the terms of an agreement to reduce driver fatigue.

TrIMet and Amalgamated Transit Union 757 have been negotiating over changes to policies that allow drivers to work 14 hour days. On Friday morning, ATU 757 issued a press release saying TriMet had accepted its agreement to resolve the issue.

“This is about passenger and public safety as well as bus operator health. Most bus operators drive that bus because they like the people they serve and want them to be safe,” ATU 757 President Bruce Hansen said in a prepared statement.

According to the statement, the union "proposed that each operator have a minimum ten hour off-duty period between the end of one shift and the start of a new shift."

A few hours later, TriMet issued a statement saying the union was misrepresenting the terms of the agreement.

“After two days of negotiations, we’re pleased that we have reached an change in policy. It eliminates all the ‘double-back’ shifts, where a bus operator could work some 20 hours in a 24 hour period with limited time off. This will improve the safety of our operation for our employees and for our riders,” TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane said in a prepared statement.

TriMet and the union are currently sparring over whether negotiations on the next contact have actually begun.

Contract Publishing

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