Teamsters 856 members working for the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District have voted to extend their contracts for another three years, securing wages and creating health care cost stability.
“Forecasting out-of-pocket expenses was something that we considered when agreeing to extend the contracts,” said Teamsters 856 Vice President Rudy Gonzalez. “With these extensions, there will be no surprises in health care costs for the next three years, which is huge given today’s uncertain health care climate.”
These negotiations contrast starkly with 2014 bargaining, when the District’s draconian health care proposals forced Local 856 and members of other Labor unions at the District to hold a series of strikes.
“The District took note of our members’ commitment to fight for fairness,” said Gonzalez. “It was a situation the employer did not want to repeat.”
Local 856 Steward and Bargaining Team Member Doug Michener agrees.
“We entered negotiations with a strong position,” said Michener, a Road Supervisor who’s been with the District for seven years. “In 2014, we fought for more than 26 weeks to attain the same wage increase that we achieved in this contract.”
Michener said that deciding to extend the contracts instead of entering full bargaining was a difficult decision, but he is ultimately happy with the final results. “There were other items that we were hopeful that we could bargain on, but I am very pleased with the agreement,” he said. “We were able to get strong raises in a time when strong raises are not common.”
Local 856 members serve the Bridge District and its customers in the Ferry and Bus Divisions.