This article highlights one of the major reasons why we need true universal health care. Much of the contentiousness in labor contract negotiations would be eliminated if everyone was guaranteed health care so that it did not need to be a fight in every contract.
--Jim Robison, HCAO Communications
by Elliot Njus | The Oregonian/OregonLive on April 02, 2016
TriMet and the union representing its front-line employees are gearing up for what could be a particularly contentious round of contract negotiations.
Already, the union has threatened disruptive protests, saying TriMet have been unwilling to meet informally to discuss issues. TriMet says its requests to start bargaining have been rebuffed, and the agency has rolled out a website where it is countering the union's public statements.
The existing contract between the transit agency and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757 expires at the end of November.
The negotiations that led to that deal took more than two years, and the agency won major concessions on health-care benefits, with employees agreeing to shoulder higher costs. For employees hired after the contract was ratified, it put an end to post-retirement TriMet-paid health care benefits for retirees eligible for Medicare.