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Rapid union contract impasse nears one year

Hilary Farrell

Rapid union employees have now gone close to a year without a new contract.

The contract for members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 836, which represents Rapid union employees, was set to expire a year ago last June. After a two-month extension was granted, it officially expired at the end of August.

Since then, multiple demonstrations and legal action against the Rapid have occurred, but no proposals have come before the board for public vote.

A closed session of the Rapid Interurban Transit Board on Wednesday discussed collective bargaining for a bit more than 40 minutes, but nothing came to a vote.

Rapid CEO Peter Varga says it was an update on negotiations. He had no other comment.

Both parties have said disagreement stems from a proposal changing employee retirement from a pension, or defined benefit, to a contribution model.

A call to a Local 836 representative was not returned on Wednesday.

Hilary is a General Assignment and Enterprise reporter for WGVU Public Media. She joined WGVU in September 2014 after several years of experience as a local news reporter, anchor and photojournalist in Midland, Saginaw and Bay counties. She's also worked as a financial and business reporter and audio field producer.
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