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Economy & Business

City And Environmental Services Union Reach Five Year Contract Deal

Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA

The city of Pittsburgh and the Teamsters union that represents garbage handling and animal control workers have reached a contract agreement for the next five years. Part of the deal includes a newly created “loader” position, which will no longer require a driver’s license or commercial driver’s license to get the job.

In the past, every worker on a garbage truck crew had to have a commercial driver's license, or to earn one within six months. But that will no longer be a requirement to apply for a newly created "loader" position for employees willing to work solely on the back of the truck. City officials say that should help job-seekers who either don't have a license or have had their licenses suspended.

“You could be hired with a license, then you had to eventually get the commercial driver’s license so that you had the ability to fill in and drive the truck as needed,” Dan Gilman, Mayor Bill Peduto’s chief of staff, said. Tthe new position “creates a separate position where you could spend your career as a loader without a license, but we also actually provide a financial incentive to get a license and commercial driver’s license.”

The goal is to help those entering or re-entering the workforce who either lack of license or have had theirs suspended.

The new contract also raises the wages for CDL truck drivers in their first year in efforts to boost recruitment. Part of the new agreement will also give workers a 3% salary increase in each of the years between 2022 and 2025.

Workers will also receive paid parental leave and paid safe leave — time off that employees can use if they need to address domestic violence.

“Whether you need to go seek assistance, court hearings, or other actions related to domestic violence, it’s an additional coverage separate from personal or vacation time,” Gilman said.