FAX bus drivers reject new contract offer from City of Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The FAX bus drivers union has overwhelmingly rejected a new contract offer from the city of Fresno.

FAX bus drivers would get a 3% raise a year under the city of Fresno's contract offer.

Consultant Rick Steitz is a spokesperson for the bus drivers represented by Amalgamated Transit Union 1027.

"The salary is not the issue," he said. "The membership wishes it was more but they're satisfied with the city's offer."

Steitz says when video cameras were installed on FAX buses for safety reasons 20 years ago, it was agreed the city could review video only 15 minutes before and after incidents onboard a bus.

"They're basically asking for an open hand to look at video on an employee, regardless if there's an incident or not," he said.

But Assistant City Manager Greg Barfield said in a statement to Action News, "The city is not requesting any changes to the current policy which was approved in previous MOUs."

The bus drivers also take issue with contract language regarding overtime. Steitz says it's not unusual for drivers to work over nine hours a day.

"They do enjoy the benefit of daily overtime," he said. "The city basically wants to take that away and go to the FLS rule, which is you don't get overtime until you reach 40 hours."

FLS stands for Fair Labor Standard.

Barfield said, "Status quo in the current MOU is that ATU members receive time and a half for any time actually worked over eight hours in one day, even if they do not actually complete their weekly assigned schedule."

The ATU will send a letter of impasse to the city of Fresno so a meeting can be set up.

The two sides may have to go through a mediator to settle the issue.
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