MBTA reaches collective bargaining agreements with all 28 affiliated unions
MBTA reaches collective bargaining agreements with all 28 affiliated unions

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has reached agreements with all 28 of its affiliated unions, representing 16 collective bargaining agreements.

“The MBTA’s success depends on a well-trained, motivated and competent workforce. That’s why, from day one, our administration has been committed to working with workers to efficiently reach agreements that guarantee workers competitive wages and benefits and strengthen our efforts to recruit and retain the best talent. I am grateful to General Manager (Phil) Eng and his team for their leadership, to our unions for their partnership, and to the men and women who move the MBTA forward for their hard work,” said Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey.

The most important details of the agreements include:

  • All agreements were concluded within one year of negotiations, a significant improvement over previous multi-year processes.
  • The term of all 16 contracts is four years, thus ensuring the longest period of labour market stability since the 1980s.
  • Higher wages and incentives to encourage recruitment and retention of employees.
  • Based on the historic pension agreement with Carmen’s Union (March 2023) and a similar agreement with the Transit Police Association (Fall 2023).
  • The final agreement, ratified in June 2024 with the MBTA Plumbers, completes a series of contracts modeled on the August 2023 agreement with the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 589.

The agreements address long-standing employee concerns and aim to stabilize and expand the MBTA workforce.

“This is a significant step forward in creating the infrastructure and support our workforce needs to carry out the current and future work of the MBTA. I am deeply grateful to everyone who worked to make this happen and ensure our frontline workers have everything they need to provide quality service to residents and travelers,” said Monica Tibbits-Nutt, Secretary and CEO of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

“The Healey-Driscoll administration has understood from the beginning that rebuilding our workforce is paramount to restoring the reliability of public transit. I am grateful for the efforts of our entire organization in negotiating and finalizing these contracts with our labor partners in record time. These contracts provide a level of stability we have not seen in decades,” said MBTA General Manager and CEO Phillip Eng. “Union members and the new employees we are excited to hire are on the front lines of providing reliable and safe service to many communities. I am so proud to stand side by side with the MBTA workforce.”

Human resources development initiatives

  • More than 1,900 new hires since the beginning of the Healey-Driscoll government, including more than 1,600 in 2023 alone.
  • $20 million investment from a supplemental budget to support recruitment efforts and the Local 589 agreement.
  • Comprehensive approach with a focus on recruitment, retention, skills training and leadership development.
  • Restructuring senior leadership and improving frontline teams, safety protocols, technology and planning.

“It is important to make these MBTA front-line jobs competitive, as was done in the recent Local 589 contract and other contracts that followed, not only because many of these jobs can provide a path to the middle class, but because the system absolutely must attract and retain experienced front-line workers to improve. We commend the administration and the general manager for working with front-line workers through collective bargaining in a positive, productive and respectful manner,” said Jim Evers, president of ATU Local 589.

“It is great to hear that all of the MBTA’s collective bargaining agreements have been finalized. This is a historic achievement and underscores how much progress is possible when workers and management work together. We are very grateful to the governor and her team,” said Robert Butler, MBTA board member and president of the Northeast Regional Council of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers.

By Aurora