State ferry workers ratifying contracts

  • Jerry Cornfield
  • Thursday, March 31, 2011 12:01am
  • Local News

State ferry workers are approving new two-year contracts which will strip them of roughly $10 million a year in salary and benefits.

Union members had ratified five of six revamped collective bargaining agreements by Wednesday. The sixth is expected to be agreed to sometime Thursday or Friday.

The new deals take effect July 1, 2011 and cover the next biennium.

Here and attached is a report from Washington State Ferries on the labor agreements. Page 4 contains a chart of the issues.

Under the agreements, salaries will be reduced by 3 percent and the rate of pay for overtime will drop from double time to time-and-a-half.

Also, the controversial provision of paying relief workers for their time commuting to a terminal for a fill-in shift is being eliminated. Instead, these workers will be paid a set rate for their travel time while still being reimbursed for their mileage.

Finally, crew sizes may be changing with fewer workers on some sailings. Exactly how this will be handled will be determined in consultation with the U.S. Coast Guard, which sets minimum staffing levels for ferries.

Unions which had ratified the agreements as of Wednesday included the Masters, Mates and Pilots, Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association, the Metal Trades Council and Office and Professional Employees International Union.

The Inlandboatmen’s Union is expected to release results of its voting today or Friday.

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