General Chairperson Craig Patch (GCA-TMM) is facing a diagnosis of brain cancer and a fundraiser has been established to help him and his family through a difficult time.
LCA-TMM Secretary Michael Jenkins said Brother Patch faces a treatment period of a year to 18 months. He will begin chemo treatments Aug. 29.
GC Patch has been a loyal member of our union since he began working at CATS (Charlotte Area Transit System). In addition to his term as GC, he’s been a vice chairperson and legislative representative for Charlotte’s Local 1596.
“Craig has dedicated his service to UTU and SMART as a representative for many years. It is now time for us to give back to him,” Jenkins said. “Any help will be greatly appreciated.”
Members of Local 1596 (Charlotte, N.C.) have finalized new contracts with Transit Management of Charlotte and First Transit of Concord/Kannapolis.
The three-year agreements provide for wage increases, improvements in pensions, an increase in the employer contribution to health care insurance, an additional number of personal leave days and better work rules.
Leading the negotiations with Transit Management of Charlotte were General Chairperson Alvy Hughes, Local Chairperson Craig Patch and Vice Local Chairperson Billy Belcher.
Leading the negotiations with First Transit of Concord/Kannapolis were General Chairperson Alvy Hughes, Local Chairperson Darryl Boykin, Vice Local Chairperson April Rogers, and Local Secretary Ben Blankey.
Hughes praised local officers on the negotiating committees for “expert preparation and tireless efforts to achieve the accomplishments in a difficult economic environment.”
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The 546 bus operators employed by Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) have voted by more than a 2-1 margin to return to the United Transportation Union.
Calvin Studivant, alternate vice president of the UTU Bus Department, will now assist those bus operators in negotiating a new agreement. Studivant recently assisted in negotiating ratified agreements for UTU members employed by First Student in Buffalo, N.Y., and the Red Arrow Division of Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority in Philadelphia.
CATS mechanics and maintenance employees have long been represented by the UTU, and the drivers will return to representation under Bus Department General Committee TMM. A new local will be created for the drivers.
Working with UTU Director of Strategic Planning Rich Ross in the organizing drive were TMM General Chairperson Alvy Hughes; TMM Assistant General Chairperson Craig Patch; Local 1596 members Billy Belcher, Dwayne Cureton and Brenda Moore; Studivant and International organizers Mike Lewis and Billy Moye. Ross praised the team’s “tireless efforts and determination.”
Studivant and Lewis crafted a get-out-the-vote drive, culminating with almost 75 percent of the eligible drivers casting ballots. Lewis most recently led a successful organizing drive of maintenance-of-way employees on Georgia & Florida Railway.
CATS is the 22nd property organized by the UTU since International President Mike Futhey took office in January 2008 — 14 shortlines, three regional airlines, two commuter railroads, and three bus properties.
“Mike Futhey is to be commended for making resources available for this unprecedented string of successful organizing drives,” Ross said. “This commitment to organizing and contract negotiations has resulted in a phenomenal elevation of wages, benefits and working conditions for UTU Bus Department members in an extraordinarily difficult economic environment.”
In May, the North Carolina Public Transportation Association awarded the CATS Bus Operations Division top honors as the safest transit system in the state. The award is given annually to an urban transit system that travels more than one million miles a year and has excellent performance in traffic and passenger safety. CATS achieved a 27 percent reduction in its accident rate over the past three years.