DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – The office of Detroit’s mayor says the city and its bus drivers’ union have reached a contract agreement for the first time in five years.

Mayor Mike Duggan spoke about the agreement on Monday along with officials from Amalgamated Transit Union Local 26 and the Detroit Department of Transportation.

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“They are still a little bit below SMART on the starting wage,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “They are further below SMART on the maximum.”

The 400 plus workers will see a base wage increase is 13.5 percent over 4 years, the contract runs through June 30, 2019.

“It’s not the best deal,as far as we’re concerned for bus drivers,” said Fred Westbrook head of the bus drivers’ union. “We will never be satisfied until we are parity with SMART and any other transportation system in the metro area.

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“There are always going to be naysayers for the simple fact that we see SMART running up and down our lines everyday and they are making more money than we are. It’s not really what we want but it’s hard to get where we want to get if the city can’t produce it, so the members – they ratified the contract, it was 224 to 142.”

Detroit has been pursuing major improvements in its bus system, including a shortage of buses and drivers that has made bus service unpredictable for those who rely on it. Security of drivers and passengers on Detroit buses also has been a key issue.

 

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