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    Posted June 25, 2012 by
    Orlando, Florida

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    Local Bus Drivers in 4 year Pay Freeze

    Lynx is the public bus service that runs in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties in the Central Florida area. They control a fleet of 265 buses and hundreds of employees. However Lynx bus drivers have not received a pay increase since 2008. Lynx and the local Amalgamated Transit Union which represents Lynx employees had a contract in place that gave drivers an increase in pay every year they were employed with the company.

    Employees also received health benefits and plans for retirement. However since 2008 when the contract expired, both sides couldn’t come to an agreement and wage increases were frozen. The President of the ATU-1596 Orlando Unit, Normand Audet, thinks that Lynx drivers need to receive the pay increases they were promised but that wages is not the only issue.

    “Wages is not what hasn’t gotten us a contract in these negations that have been ongoing for the last year. It’s been other issues like health care, tool allowances, uniform allowances that have stopped us from signing a contract,” Audet said.

    While the local ATU and Lynx continue to negotiate, the group, Central Florida Jobs with Justice have been out at bus stops for the past few months talking to bus riders about issues with service.
    “Many people who ride are low wage workers trying to get to work, getting there on time is their concern,” Director of the CFJWJ Denise Diaz said.

    The CFJWJ is petitioning to county commissioners in order to try get permanent funding for Lynx. They believe that will help solve some of the wage and benefits issues with employees as well.

    “We just want to start the conversation and say this is important,” Diaz said.

    Kayla O'Brien
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