On July 13th, 2021, CTW conducted a mentor training class to help prepare both new and senior mentors for moving forward after being dormant for some time. The curriculum for the day included reviewing the mentor handbook, health and wellness activities, being a mentor, working with mentees, trust building, professional operator skills and the changing landscape in public transit. Two days after the training, the Golden Gate Transit Mentor Program put on a relaunch event to let the workers know who they are and what they do. In attendance were the Golden Gate Bridge District General Manager Denis Mulligan, GGT Deputy GM Mona Babauta, GGT management, mentors, CTW staff and more. The Mentors put together a dynamic presentation on what the program is and what they plan to do moving forward.
From the Amalgamated Transit Union: "ATU International President John Costa offered condolences and support for families of victims at a moving vigil for our Local 265-San Jose, CA brothers killed in the tragic shooting. Also speaking were Local 265 President John Courtney, Mayor Sam Liccardo, family members of the our lost brothers, and others."
The front-line transit workers and managers of the industry training consortium, California Transit Works (CTW), send our heartfelt prayers and condolences to the families of shooting victims at Valley Transportation Authority’s (VTA) Light Rail Division. At least eight of our brothers and sisters died, and those who remain behind in the workplace are traumatized and grief stricken.
As transit workers, we are accustomed to working at the edge of societal conflict and the potential for violence, but we never expected it to erupt from within. And yet, through it all, we keep showing up. We continued working during the covid pandemic and many died. And today, the buses keep rolling to take up where the temporary suspension of Light Rail service left off.
This tragedy renews our commitment to the transit industry and to the workers and managers who keep the wheels rolling in the face of its many hazards. Our hearts are broken, but we are mobilizing to join our first responders, our elected officials, and the labor movement in active support of all who are traumatized and grieving.
Please consider supporting our ATU brothers and sisters and the families impacted by the shooting through a tax deductible donation to the ATU Disaster Relief Fund, or by donating to the Working Partnerships USA’s Union Community Resources program.
We Are One Family.
CTW was honored to be present at the Zero Emissions Bus (ZEB) training for ATU Locals on April 19, 2021. This is one of two videos we showed, followed by a presentation from Anthony Royall and Julio Granera.
"The labor/ management partnership brings pride to the workforce, to the workers.”
-John Costa (President of the International Amalgamated Transit Union)
The latest issue of In Transit highlights the value of labor management partnerships:
Originally published in the October-December Issue of ATU's In Transit Magazine.
The California Workforce Development Board (CWDB) designed the High Road Training Partnership (HRTP) initiative to model a sector approach that can address critical issues of equity, job quality, and environmental sustainability. HRTPs are industry-based, worker-focused training partnerships that build skills for California’s high road employers—firms that compete based on quality of product and service achieved through innovation and investment in human capital and can thus generate family-supporting jobs where workers have agency and voice. For more information: High Road Training Partnership Overview
Transit workers reflect on what it means to be a mentor...
“The training and mentorship programs position transit workers as leaders who set quality service standards for the industry, provide support to new workers, take ownership of operations, and create solutions rather than problems…As a testament to the power of integrated worker voice, the mentoring program creates leaders in both management and unions, who in turn reinforce the value of working in partnership.”
-The High Road to Public Transit
On this International Workers' Day, CTW's senior policy advisor, Tom Fink, reminds us of the intrinsic value of work.
In a Mass Transit article, Stacey Hendler Ross writes about the success of the JWI Apprenticeship program, in partnership with Mission College:
SCVTA's JWI Apprenticeship Graduates Receive First-Time College Certificate of Achievement
SCVTA’s program was the first in the country to offer a bus operator apprenticeship, officially sanctioned by the U.S. Department of Labor, and it is the first in the country to offer such college credit, in its partnership with Mission College and ATU.
Another “first” for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s Joint Workforce Investment (JWI) apprenticeship program with the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU). Two hundred seventy graduates of the program received Certificates of Achievement in Transportation from Mission College in Santa Clara. The participants who completed the 18-month JWI apprenticeship program at VTA received 18 college credits. VTA’s program was the first in the country to offer a bus operator apprenticeship, officially sanctioned by the U.S. Department of Labor, and it is the first in the country to offer such college credit, in its partnership with Mission College and ATU.
General Manager and CEO Nuria Fernandez addressed graduates at a November ceremony. “We know we face many challenges in this industry,” Fernandez told the graduates, “And one of them is attracting and retaining highly skilled, dedicated workers to carry mobility service into the next several decades. We are bringing labor and management together to identify and implement solutions that upskill, reskill and build the knowledge and capabilities of our operators and maintenance workers,” she said.
Since the inception of this initiative in 2015, Mission College has supported the education and training leading to Transit Career certifications in the fields of Coach Operator, Overhead Line Worker, Track Worker and Service Mechanic, which mirror the apprenticeships. Providing college credit in the program facilitates and encourages employees to advance in their careers. Each participant is assigned a more experienced mentor, which has allowed this program to become a national model for improving working conditions for transit workers, cutting down on absenteeism and reducing stress.
Earlier this year, ATU International President John Costa visited San Jose to get a closer look at the workings of the joint management-labor initiative. Subsequently, his International Union passed a resolution to support the creation and development of similar programs at transit agencies across the country. VTA’s JWI program serves as a national model and works with the Transportation Learning Center to help other agencies develop like initiatives.