New AFSCME Local 3620 unit ratifies contract

AFSCME Local 3620 represents Long Beach Transit (LBT) employees across multiple departments, including facilities, supplies, and stops & zones. Members of its newest unit, which represents employees in the customer service department, have ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with Long Beach Transit.

Customer service department employees are a vital part of making LBT run smoothly. They provide information about LBT services to customers, such as answering inquiries about routes, schedules, fares, etc. They also resolve customer concerns, participate in community events, maintain a lost and found inventory, and sell LBT passes to customers. Yet, their voices weren’t being heard, so they decided to form a union with Local 3620.

This first Union contract for the Customer Service Unit comes with some major wins. The two-year contract, which is retroactive to July 2021, includes:

  • 3.5% wage increase on July 1, 2021
  • 3.5% wage increase July 1, 2022
  • 2.5% Step increase September 19, 2022
  • $500 uniform voucher
  • 3% out-of-class pay

The new contract also addresses some long-standing issues that members have been facing, such as equipment failure and bilingual pay. Securing a first contract can often prove to be challenging, and this negotiations process was not much different, but the benefits and job security that comes with a Union contract kept the members motivated. “In this current climate of job instability, it is nice to know I have representation from a union to back me up if I ever need it,” said Thelma Zaras, a customer care lead with Long Beach Transit. “We know this is just the beginning of our journey as a unit, but this is a great first step to creating a foundation that we can build on for years to come.”