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Palm Tran bus drivers negotiating extra pay for driving during the pandemic

Posted at 7:18 PM, Jul 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-03 00:16:53-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.  — Palm Tran bus drivers were back at the negotiating table Thursday asking for extra pay for driving during the pandemic.

They originally asked for time-and-a-half pay for hazard pay but agreed to 32 hours of comp-time.

The negotiations come as Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1577 says 11 Palm Tran employees have tested positive for COVID-19.

“It’s becoming evident to us that it's becoming more dangerous and so this will go some way to help some of our employees,” ATU Local 1577 President Dwight Mattingly said.

RELATE: Palm Tran suspends sales of bus passes, offers free rides

“We believe we’ve come up with a very fair way to provide some additional appreciations to them in the form of compensatory time,” Palm Beach County Assistant County Administrator Todd Bonlarron said.

Contact 5 recently discovered 81 Palm Tran operators missed a day of work after Mattingly said some operators were afraid of getting infected with COVID-19 on the job.

Palm Tran says the absences were not all due to sick leave.

Thursday’s agreement still needs to be ratified by the union membership and the county commission.