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Amtran approves employee contract

Amtran Wednesday approved a three-year contract with the Amalgamated Transit Union local that represents many of its employees.

The new deal, which takes effect June 1, when the current contract expires, calls for a 3 percent raise for the first half-year, a 2 percent raise for the second half-year, a 4 percent raise for the second full year and a

3 percent raise for the third year, according to General Manager Eric Wolf.

The new contract will increase life insurance benefits to $50,000 per employee and pension benefits by $5 per month for each year of service by the end of the contract term, according to Wolf.

Currently, pension benefits are $55 per month for each year of service, Wolf said.

Thus, when the benefit increase is realized, a worker with 20 years’ service would get $1,200 a month upon retirement.

Employees contribute 7.6 percent of their regular-hour wages to the pension program.

The organization and union worked out a four-year health insurance arrangement prior to the regular contract negotiations, Wolf said.

It’s a UPMC plan to which employees contribute, Wolf said.

“I believe it’s a fair contract, considering everything we’ve been through these past couple of years,” said union local President Dave James.

The current inflation “in a sense” is responsible for the staggered raises in the first year of the contract, according to James.

“We wanted to get a little bigger bump this year,” James said. “And the second year too.”

The new health care plan requires employees to meet a higher deductible, but there were no major changes, James said.

The union and Amtran’s management have an amicable relationship. “The (parties) always work together pretty well,” he said. “It’s been a pleasure working with Eric (Wolf) through the years.”

There are 40 members in the union local.

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