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Public Employee Press: PEP Talk

Local 1455, DOT agreement addresses recruitment and retention issues for Traffic Device Maintainers

Local 1455 TDM Bob Bixler installs DOT signs around the city.

Local 1455 and DC 37 negotiated significant salary increases for 220 Department of Transportation Traffic Device Maintainers (TDMs) that paid them each a $3,000 salary bump in November and boosts the starting pay for new hires.

“We are pleased that Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and DOT management recognized our collective voice,’ said Local 1455 President Mike DeMarco. “It was important to agree to the training for the new skills we need to do our jobs, and to the additional, equitable compensation.”

During the negotiation of the 2018 citywide economic agreement, an Equity Panel was established to address past imbalances.

The panel looked at changes to TDMs’ jobs that were made to meet the demands of DOT technology. They examined DOT job titles, specifications, and requirements and agreed to adjust the salaries. Additionally, the title has three steps that each get a $3,000 bump.

“Traffic Device Maintainers with 15 years on the job can earn about $72,000 per year, including union-negotiated RIPs and longevity,” DeMarco explained. Differential pay for night and/ or specialty vehicle operation also added to earnings.

In 2012, Local 1455 successfully contracted in DOT’s massive citywide conversion to computerized munimeters. Traffic Device Maintainers then removed tens of thousands of coin-operated, single-space parking meters and replaced them with more than 13,000 multi-space munimeters.

The workers now calibrate and maintain the solar-powered munimeters that add more than a quarter billion dollars to the city’s coffers yearly.