After reading recent comments by Randy Grove, human resources director at Paratransit Services, I'm wondering if bulbous red clown noses are a management perk.
Grove says BAT workers want a 135% wage increase totaling $2.8 million. I've been following the transit union negotiations pretty closely, and I sure don't recall numbers that come remotely close to these outrageous claims.
The fact is BAT workers start at $11 an hour and haven't seen a raise in five years. Paratransit's so-called "best and final offer" amounted to a three-year wage freeze at $12 an hour. BAT workers would still be paid 40% less than city employees (who recently won wage increases) and Bend-LaPine school bus drivers. BAT workers deserve pay equity, dignity and respect.
I haven't been to Paratransit's Bremerton, WA headquarters, but I wouldn't be surprised if the motto over the door reads, "We're all bozos on this bus." Apologies to Firesign Theatre, who deserve better than association with the clowns in charge of Paratransit.
Michael Funke, Bend