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103 when bringing paratransit in-house and integrating the Union Issues workforce but rather extended those packages to paratransit operators. The majority of the systems (16 out of 22 respondents to Few services were able to provide data that accounts the national survey) had unionized paratransit workforces. for the cost and performance impact of the change. Several In follow-up interviews, the majority of participants cited notable exceptions, however, reported that the change to union-related benefits that followed from workforce integra- tion and/or wage parity or at least the absence of significant an integrated workforce and wage parity reduced cost per problems. Several services reported initial opposition from trip or improved performance, sometimes dramatically. fixed-route operators in the union who feared that instituting Chelan-Douglas Public Transit Benefit Area (Link Tran- wage parity would negatively affect their pay (including Utah sit), Wenatchee, WA, and City of Annapolis Department of Transit Authority, discussed in a case study below). The range Transportation (Annapolis Transit), Annapolis, MD, both of experiences with unions includes the following: reported performance improvements--with decreased cost per trip for the former and increased ridership for the latter. Both are discussed in case studies below. The respondent Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority reported the deci- for Lawton Transit Management, Inc. (LATS), Lawton, OK, sion to equalize wages and integrate the workforce was made noted that cost per trip dropped from roughly $15 per hour to in collaboration with the union, a move which resulted in $11.44 per hour, an accomplishment that is notable because a "big improvement" in operator morale as well as run LATS opted to pay its paratransit operators $.50 more per coverage. hour than fixed-route operators. As the LATS respondent Link Transit noted problems in bringing paratransit in- noted: house: three-quarters of the staff from the former para- transit provider joined the system but lost their seniority We decided to pay paratransit a little more because it's a more in run-selection because the contract defined seniority by hands-on, more stressful, more demanding position. Operators Link application date. Even though such operators were need to [stand up] for each pick-up. This extra payment has making higher wages, they had lost a significant degree of helped with morale. authority. This created some staff resentment. A new union representative with MATA/MTM in Mem- Similarly, the respondent for MITS explained that cross- phis, TN, pushed for a progressive wage scale and more training its operators saved the system money by increasing equal paratransit and fixed-route wages. Despite some the flexibility of the extra-board and reducing the need for resistance from fixed-route operators who had previously overtime; this remained true even after the system equalized been paratransit operators, management and the union pay between fixed-route and paratransit operators. struck a deal in July 2008. As of May 2009, paratransit pay In addition to these specific increases in ridership and/or was commensurate with the 2nd tier of fixed-route pay. In productivity, system respondents consistently reported a num- the process of negotiations with the union, paratransit ber of general benefits that came with workforce integration operators' "transfer rights" to fixed route were eliminated. and workforce parity. These include the following: Prior to July 2008, all paratransit operators made the same pay and had the right to transfer to fixed route after 2 years, even in cases of poor performance. MATA/MTM manage- Cutting overtime and/or contractor costs; ment agreed that higher pay would attract more qualified A more satisfied union and/or workforce because of the paratransit operators who would stay longer especially elimination of wage disparities within the workforce; after the transfer rights were eliminated. Management now A more flexible pool of workers in terms of run coverage reviews all paratransit operators who apply to work fixed (for example, operators may cover both modes on the route. Both the union and the MATA/MTM respondents same day); report a much more content paratransit workforce. The ability to pull operators from the pool of paratransit or fixed-route operators to cover runs on the other mode because operators are cross-trained; Varieties of Integration The ability to more easily cover emergency pickups; and Among services that have an integrated workforce, there is a Fewer rider complaints due to greater workforce oversight continuum of degrees of integration and a variety of possibili- and/or a workforce that is trained on both fixed route and ties of organizing such a workforce. All but two of the systems paratransit and thus more sensitive to the needs of people with wage parity and workforce integration--Triangle Transit, with disabilities. Morrisville, NC, and LATS, Lawton, OK--let operators bid for