Companies and public transit authorities are often hesitant to give our members pay raises. This is especially true when they are dealing with men and women who are new to the job. Recently, SMART-TD’s general chairperson of GCA-020, Justin Schrock, found out that sometimes these employers will agree to a pay increase for new hires and then simply not pay it!

This happened to members of SMART-TD Local 1707 working for First Transit in Perris, California.

In 2022, Brother Schrock and the local leadership team for Local 1707 along with SMART-TD Bus Department Vice President Alvy Hughes, negotiated an increase in the pay for newly hired bus operators who were on the first step of compensation with First Transit. Being that they were all new employees, these brothers and sisters had very little track record to compare their paystubs to and were under the assumption that they were all being paid correctly per the new agreement.

They were not.

At left, Bus Department Vice President James Sandoval, Local Chairperson Rickey Davis, TD President Jeremy Ferguson and General Chairperson Justin Schrock, right.

First Transit was more than happy that no one had forced this issue until the local chairperson of LCA-020U for SMART-TD, Rickey Davis, caught the error. Davis was looking into a different dispute surrounding the steps in pay rates when he discovered that his members with the lowest seniority were being shorted in their pay. 

Upon this discovery, Brother Davis got a hold of GC Schrock. Together the two pushed First Transit to do the right thing and make the pay for these men and women whole. Predictably, they did not.

Earlier this month, the combination of Davis, Schrock, and VP Hughes reached a settlement with First Transit. They are now paying our members a combined $30,850.19 in back pay!

As Schrock told SMART News, “This is the largest grievance amount he has recovered for members in my career. The money being recovered goes back to July 1st, 2023. In total, First Transit had shorted 75 of our members. Rickey, Alvy, and I weren’t about to let that happen. It goes to show you that in this organization, we don’t just concentrate on protecting our senior members. We look out for bus members starting at day one!”

The 75 brothers and sisters that are receiving this back pay represent all the different crafts in Local 1707 including customer service representatives, operators, dispatchers, trip edits, and vaulters. All members of Local 1707 will also be receiving their next scheduled pay increase starting in July of this year as well.

SMART-TD wants to thank Brother Davis and all of the hard-working people in our Bus Department.

This $30,850 will help our members and their families and also shows our members’ employers that SMART-TD will always hold to them to the letter of their agreements!