Local 888 members in the Massachusetts Department of Transportation have overwhelmingly approved a new contract, which runs through June 30.
“Monetary issues were the main thing that held up negotiations,” said Larry Higgins, Local 888 internal organizer. Ultimately, many Local 888 members got substantial increases.
Cost-of-living raises were 2 percent, 2 percent and 2 percent over the three-year contract. Since most of the contract has elapsed, most of the raises will be retroactive.
However, $700 was added to the highest step (No. 12) as well. Also, about 40 percent of Local 888 members will be getting upgrades, which are retroactive to July 2016. As a result of these moves, many Local 888 members will get big increases amounting to an additional several several thousand dollars.
The upgrades are part of a MassDOT classification study as provided under a previous contract. These changes include the creation of new job classifications.
Local 888 has about 50 members at the MassDOT. The Coalition of MassDOT Unions that bargained the contract included the teamsters, steelworkers and AFSCME locals.
Some of what made negotiations complicated is that there were classification issues dating back to 2009 — when the MassDOT was formed. That year, the state Legislature voted to merge what had been MassHighway with the Mass Pike, which had been a separate agency. Those were then combined into the state’s highway division.
Other MassDOT divisions include the Registry of Motor Vehicles and the mass transit division. Local 888 members work in the highway division and the RMV; some are dispatchers, bridge operators and storekeepers.
For more on the new MassDOT contract, see: //www.seiu888.org/2020/01/27/dot2020/.