The last final offer from the Metropolitan Council to its transit workers got important approval from the transit workers' union leadership Thursday, paving the way for an end to a sometimes tense contract negotiation, that included the threat of a transit strike during the Super Bowl.
The executive committee for the ATU Local 1005 — which represents bus and light rail drivers, mechanics and others who work for Metro Transit — recommended that membership pass the contract based on the Met Council's latest offer Wednesday.
If the contract is approved by the rank and file, Metro Transit would avert an authorized strike by its workers in early February.
"I think this, overall, is a good compromise," said Mark Lawson, president and business agent for the union. "Both sides worked very hard. At the end of the day there are things we wanted that are not in here and there are some things that management wanted that are not here. This is a good compromise that we can recommend our members vote yes on."
Lawson said the three-year contract gives members a 2.5 percent raise each year and also puts together a committee to improve safety for bus drivers.
The committee would examine safety barriers for drivers, who Lawson said often face threats and assault while on the job.
Union membership will vote on the contract on Sunday and Monday. The vote will be tallied on Monday night.