AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: The above video is from an August report on CapMetro staffing shortages.
Members of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) approved an agreement Thursday that will increase the hourly wage for bus operators and mechanics.
With the approved agreement, Capital Metro bus operators will now start at a wage of $22 per hour and mechanics will start with at least $31 per hour.
The new agreement will go into effect on Jan. 1.
The transit agency announced last Thursday that members of the ATU would consider the agreement.
Since August, CapMetro has been recruiting to hire more than 100 bus operators and mechanics. ATU Local 1091, which represents CapMetro operators and mechanics, has reached a tentative labor agreement with CapMetro's service contractor that would increase wages for those employees.
Based on annual salary assumptions, operators could earn between $54,000 and $76,000 per year and mechanics could earn between $71,000 $84,000, as they continue their CapMetro careers. CapMetro said the proposed new wages represent an increase of up to 30% for operators and up to 13% for mechanics compared to their current wage.
All new staff would be offered full benefits, including medical, dental, vision, a 401(k) retirement plan and more.
"Our staff has been on the frontlines of the pandemic for the last two years, so this is not only a great way to support our workforce but also to ensure that we are providing equitable, competitive wages and benefits to such dedicated public servants," CapMetro Deputy CEO Dottie Watkins said. “I was once a bus operator myself, so I know how important it is to take care of those who make it possible for us to serve customers.”
According to CapMetro, the agreement calls for cash incentives to both operators and mechanics based on performance goals, with an emphasis on safety and attendance. The wage structure also rewards and incentivizes retention by increasing the staff’s hourly rate the longer they serve.
CapMetro encourages interested candidates with or without a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) to apply. Paid training is offered to assist those who need to obtain a CDL. There is a $3,500 hiring bonus for some qualified candidates. Learn more about working for CapMetro.
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