MARTA takes steps to compensate and protect employees during COVID-19 pandemicMARTA is placing this poster on buses and affixing "Do Not Sit" signs onto certain seats to allow for more space between sitting customers. Standing in the aisle of the bus will not be allowed. Image provided by MARTA
Atlanta, GA – MARTA and the transit union have reached an agreement to compensate employees working during the COVID-19 pandemic and make things safer for them.
In a press conference featuring MARTA CEO Jeffrey Parker and Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 732 President Britt Dunams, MARTA announced it is making a one-time payment of $500 to frontline employees, giving them 80 hours of additional paid sick leave and giving masks to all employees unable to work remotely.
“MARTA and the ATU are united in our mission to continue providing essential transit service while protecting our employees and customers,” Parker said. “These employee measures, along with bus crowding mitigation efforts, and forthcoming bus service changes, will help ensure our system remains safe for those who rely on transit to get to work, the doctor, or the grocery store.”
The transit agency recently received a shipment of 250,000 disposable surgical masks. Each employee working on the front lines will receive five masks, five pairs of gloves and sanitizing wipes.
The paid sick leave will apply to the following situations.
– Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking medical diagnosis;
– Advised by MARTA to self-quarantine due to risk of exposure to COVID-19 as a result of close contact with a COVID-19 affected co-worker;
– Advised by a health care professional to self-quarantine due to underlying personal health conditions or other personal reasons;
– Caring for an individual who is required to quarantine;
– Caring for the employee’s dependent child if the child’s school or place of care is closed.
“When the emergency paid leave is exhausted, employees may use accrued paid sick and/or vacation time as needed,” MARTA announced. “Any MARTA employee who has a confirmed and medically documented diagnosis of COVID-19 will be paid for the full length of their recovery period until they are medically cleared to return to work.”
MARTA also will address crowding on its buses.
“We have established a dedicated hotline for customers to report a full bus and request another be sent to their stop,” the transit agency said. “If your bus is too full to board, call 404-848-5000, select option 1 for English and 2 for Spanish, then select option 1 again, so we can take immediate action.”
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