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Bay County TPO denies agreement to pay public transit workers hazard pay

Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 5:05 AM CDT
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -

Bay County Transportation Planning Organization officials were considering giving local public bus drivers and other transit workers extra pay for working during the COVID-19 pandemic, but denied the agreement.

If it had been approved, it would have been funded by some of the money bay County received in the CARES act. That would have provided first transit management workers an extra $175 per pay period for working their full schedule during the pandemic. The agreement would have impacted more than 50 employees in the county including mechanics and drivers.

“It’s scary to be out there on a bus when you got passengers stepping up onto the bus, 15 to 20 people on a bus and some of them were not wearing masks,” said Mike Lowery with the Amalgamated Transit Union 1395. “There is no retro pay allowed under the cares act. Every day we let this go by we’re keeping the money out of the hands of the individuals in the front line.”

Bay County TPO officials say they don’t have funds to pay the extra money right now and they would still have to submit a grant to the state to receive the money. They have to cover loss of revenue, PPE equipment and more.

They also say other county workers are not getting that pay.

“Not that the transit operators are doing less,” said Bay County TPO officials. “they’re doing a good job right now. The fact that everybody that falls in that category, we are, not able to get everybody hazardous pay.”

Bay County TPO officials say of the transit groups that responded to requests for information, JTran in Marianna is the only transit agency in the state providing hazard pay to transit workers.

Copyright 2020 WJHG. All rights reserved.

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