Local Government and Politics, News

MBTA, union come to agreement on Lynn bus garage

Protesters at the MBTA garage on Western Avenue in Lynn in August 2017. (Owen O'Rourke/File photo)

LYNN — The MBTA and the members of IAM Local 264 have reached a tentative agreement on a multi-year contract.

The sides have been at odds over Gov. Charlie Baker’s bid to privatize bus maintenance work.

Both parties have agreed not to discuss specific terms until a final agreement is ratified by the union.

Last year, the T requested bids to privatize bus facilities in Lynn, Quincy, and Boston. Of the 16 public transit agencies in Massachusetts, only one, the MBTA, does not outsource its bus maintenance work, according to the transit agency. The T said it could cut the highest hourly worker rate by nearly 68 percent, from $56 per hour to $18 per hour, by privatizing the Lynn garage.

Workers at the Lynn garage perform a number of tasks to keep the fleet running, from simple jobs like refueling, to more elaborate work like replacing brake lines and suspension systems, repairing air conditioning and faulty electrical equipment, and rebuilding engines.

The controversy sparked a protest by more than 200 T employees in front of the T’s Lynn Garage last summer. They  called on Baker to “Stop waging war on the middle class.”

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