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OCR for page 37
37 Four of the 10 private contractors that operate both fixed- 19 were public transit agencies and 8 were private contrac- route and paratransit (40%) services indicated that the work- tors. Overall, 17 of the 27 respondents to this question (63%) forces are paid the same wage and can move between both indicated that pay between the modes was already equal, and types of services. Another four (40%) indicated that the work- another three (11%) were moving toward equal pay. Only 7 forces are separate and there is no cross-over. One (10%) of the 27 respondents (26%) did not have equal pay and were indicated that operators are hired first for paratransit and can not moving in that direction. then move to fixed route when openings become available, Twelve of the 19 public transit agencies that directly oper- but this relationship does not have a significant impact on ate both types of services (63%) indicated that there is equal paratransit operator turnover. None of the 10 private contrac- pay between the workforces. Another two (10%) said they tors selected the response that movement between the two were working toward equalizing pay. Five (26%) said they workforces caused significant paratransit turnover. One pri- were not moving toward equal pay. In the two systems where vate contractor indicated "Other" and provided the following equal pay was a goal, there was an average starting pay differ- comment: ence of $2.54 between fixed route and paratransit. In the five systems that were not moving toward equal pay, the differ- Operators frequently do both services and are able to cross ence in starting pay between the modes was similar ($2.48) over as openings occur. We have found that paratransit opera- but the average paratransit wage was relatively high ($12.13). tors enjoy more diversity in their jobs and are willing to accept lower pay for the greater variety and job satisfaction that they Five of the eight private contractors (62%) that operated receive. There is little movement between the services. both types of service and responded to this question indicated that pay between the workforces was equal. One additional This "Other" response was from MV Transportation's private contractor indicated that it was moving toward equal operation in the Monterey-Salinas, California, area. This MV pay. Two private contractors (25%) said they were not mov- operation reported relatively little wage differential (a $10.54 ing to equal pay. In these two cases, the average paratransit starting wage for paratransit operators and an $11.04 starting starting wage was again relatively high ($12.05) and the dif- wage for fixed-route operators) and only a 19% annual turn- ference in starting wage between paratransit and fixed route over among paratransit operators. was only 32 cents. More detailed information about the experiences of sys- tems that have integrated ADA paratransit and fixed-route Equalizing Pay Between Modes vehicle operator workforces and/or equalized pay is pre- Respondents who indicated that they employed both para- sented in Chapter 9. transit and fixed-route operators and provide both types of service in the same area were asked for wage information for Factors That Impact Vehicle both modes. If there was a pay differential between paratran- Operator Recruitment sit and fixed route, they were then asked if they were moving toward equalizing pay for both types of operators. They were Survey respondents were given a list of possible factors that then asked for comments on why they were or were not mov- impact ADA paratransit operator recruitment. They were ing toward equal pay. Responses are provided in Table 3-11 asked to indicate if, in their experience, the factors had "No and explained in further detail in the following text. Impact", "Little Impact," "Some Impact," "Moderate Impact," Twenty-seven of the public and private entities that indi- or "Significant Impact" on recruitment. Figure 3-9 shows cated they directly operate both fixed-route and paratransit the ratings given. The figure was created by translating all services responded to the question about wage information-- "No Impact" responses to a "1" rating, all "Little Impact" Table 3-11. Movement toward equal pay by respondents that directly operate both fixed-route and paratransit services. Equal Pay Moving Toward Equal Pay No Moving Toward Equal Pay Paratransit Fixed Route Paratransit Fixed Route Public 12 2 5 Wage Range $11.23 - $12 $13.68 - $14.63 $9.50 - $14.41 $11.40 - $19.51 Average Wage n/a $11.62 $14.16 $12.13 $14.61 Private 5 1 2 Wage Range $10. 54 - $13.55 $11.04 - $13.69 Average Wage n/a n/a $12.05 $12.37 Total 17 3 7

OCR for page 37
38 Wages Offered Fringe Benefits Offered Pre-Qualification Requirements Labor Market/General Shortage of Workers Shift Structure/Hours Available Job Description/Nature of the Job Background Checks Drug Testing Competition with Other Paratransit/Transit Services Lack of Career Advancement Opportunities Union Issues Vehicle Type/Size/Design 0 1 2 3 4 5 Private Contractors Public Agencies Figure 3-9. Factors that impact vehicle operator recruitment. responses to a "2," and so on up to "Significant Impact" being recruitment factors not on the list or expounded on items on a "5." Responses were then averaged for all public agency the list. These comments were the following: respondents and all private contractor responses. As shown, public transit agencies indicated that pre- "We only hire part-time operators; therefore folks leave if qualification requirements (such as minimum age, CDL they can get a full-time position with benefits." licenses, background checks, etc.) had the most impact on their "Starting wages are too low to attract experienced operators. recruitment of paratransit operators (3 out of 5). Also rated as Operators reach prevailing wage with overtime, but the influential were general labor market conditions (2.9 out of 5), union structure provides a fixed starting wage and we can- drug testing requirements (2.9 out of 5), shift structure and not adjust for special case operators that have experience." hours available (2.8 out of 5), background checks (2.7 out of 5), "Workers comp is a significant impact as we have several wages offered (2.7 out of 5), and the nature of the job (2.4 out operators out of service at any given time." of 5). No other factor rated higher, on average, than a 2.0. "North Carolina does not allow a union to collectively bar- Private contractors, on the other hand, considered the wages gain with local government; however, a union has recently being offered as the factor that most impacted recruitment been organizing paratransit operators. This union, however, (3.9 out of 5). Fringe benefits were rated second most signif- has had no impact on working conditions, pay, etc., because icant (3.3 out of 5). Other issues that had high ratings in they cannot collectively bargain. The union has lowered terms of impacts on recruitment were the general labor mar- morale of operators by making promises they have not been ket (3.2 out of 5), pre-qualification requirements (3.2 out of 5), able to keep. The union also encourages grievances and and background checks (2.9 out of 5). Other factors rated 2.5 EEOC complaints, but all grievances and EEOC complaints or below. have been lost by the employees who filed them." This question also included an "Other" option with respon- dents asked to identify any other factors that impacted recruit- It is interesting to note that the second comment, which ment that were not on the list. Four respondents offered cited starting wages that were too low to attract experienced