OAKLAND (KPIX 5) – The union representing nearly 1,800 AC transit workers said it reached a tentative contract agreement with the agency late Tuesday night, averting a strike that would have impacted more than 180,000 daily riders.

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 192, which represents bus operators, dispatchers, maintenance and clerical workers, announced the deal less than two hours before a 12:01 a.m. Wednesday deadline.

According to union officials, the three-year contract provides workers a raise of 9.5 percent over three years, with employees contributing to medical benefits. Health and safety would also be improved.

“This agreement protects workers, helps riders, and keep service running,” union president Yvonne Williams said in a statement.

“We are happy we were able to get through process without any disruption in service,” AC Transit general manager David Armijo said in a statement late Tuesday night. “Clearly both sides focused on what was best for the riders and taxpayers of this District and what is in the long-term interest of maintaining public transit for the communities we serve.”

Union officials said members will hold a ratification vote on the contract agreement later this month.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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