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Aug 8, 2014 1:16 AM by Sam Salzwedel

Sun Tran and union agree on contract

TUCSON - Sun Tran employees will not go on strike this year.

Members of Teamsters Local 104 approved a 1-year contract with Sun Tran.

Every employee gets an immediate pay raise, then wages are still frozen for the next 12 months, according to the chief union negotiator Andy Marshall.

"It seems to be an ongoing battle lately. They get shorter and shorter," Marshall said. "I would prefer a longer contract. I'm sure the citizens of Tucson would too. But we did everything we could to make sure there was not going to be a strike. And we were successful, and we take that seriously for the citizens."

More than 80-percent of the members went to the union hall to vote. About 75-percent voted yes. The current deal expired at 11:59 p.m. Thursday, so employees would have went on strike if the deal was rejected.

The parties will start negotiations again in 9 months.

Sun Tran employees do not work for the City of Tucson. The City pays Professional Transit Management/ Veolia to operate Sun Tran.

Because about 10-percent of Sun Tran's budget comes from federal grants, employees have to have the right to strike, according to federal regulations.

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