Montebello transit employees to get first raise since 2008

MONTEBELLO >> Drivers and other employees of the city’s bus system will receive their first raise since 2008 under a tentative agreement between the employees’ union and the city.

All employees in the city’s transit department — bus drivers, mechanics, service workers and store keepers — will receive a 3 percent pay raise retroactive to Sunday. Employees will get another 3 percent salary increase on July 1, 2017.

“This is long overdue,” said Cecilia Lopez, chairwoman for Local 1701 of the Montebello SMART United Transportation Union.

“We want to start off the new year fresh, build stronger relationships and make Montebello great again,” Lopez said.

The employees already ratified the new contract on a 116-5 vote. The City Council gave direction supporting the deal in a closed session meeting. The council must still take a public vote on the contract.

“It’s awesome,” said Mayor Vivian Romero who added the contract should come to a vote at one of the two January meetings.

“A lot of people need raises,” Romero said. “It’s definitely a good thing for everybody. It’s going to be a good Christmas and New Year’s for these people.”

Montebello City Manager Francesca Tucker-Schuyler said financial constraints on the city over the past eight years led to the delayed pay raises.

One reason the city can now afford to give a pay raise is Measure M, the half-cent sales tax increase Los Angeles County voters passed in November. Metro estimated the city’s…

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