Ending a monthlong strike that took place at the height of the summer, drivers for the Vineyard Transit Authority voted Sunday to ratify a contract with their employer, Transit Connection Inc. (TCI).

Drivers are due to return to work on Tuesday.

The vote took place Sunday at the Barn, Bowl and Bistro in Oak Bluffs.

Out of 48 drivers eligible to vote, 33 voted — the final tally was 32-1, according to longtime driver Richard Townes.

The vote puts 21 drivers back to work on public buses and brings an end to the highly-charged strike that had galvanized the Vineyard community.

“This is a historical day for VTA drivers and a great day for the Island,” said Mr. Townes in a statement that went out Sunday after the vote. “We can now better provide for our families, our jobs are more secure, and we can get back to safely transporting our riders, friends and allies, whose support on the picket lines and year-round was critical in achieving this fair contract.”

This is the first collective bargaining agreement for the VTA bus drivers, who are now officially members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1584. The vote was ratified by the drivers three days after the union reached a tentative agreement with TCI, following two days of marathon bargaining.

“We are extremely excited,” said ATU spokesman Steve MacDougall. “This was a five-year fight against an employer who did not want the union. We’re not just excited about our new members, we feel honored to have them.”

Full-time drivers walked off the job on June 28, sparking a summer of tension and controversy at the Island’s public transit system. TCI hired replacement drivers, and most bus routes continued to run without interruption.

But members of the public rallied around the small group of striking drivers, who took their demonstration far and wide, from meetings of Island selectmen to the steps of the State House in Boston.

Under the new contract, hourly wages for drivers at the top step will increase from $23.50 to $25.50 beginning August 1, 2019. The top rate will increase again in a year to $27, with a final increase to $27.50 on August 1, 2021. The starting wage rate for new hires will increase from $16.50 to $19.50, and will also increase for the next two years, topping out at $20.50 in 2021.

In another win for the drivers, seniority will be recognized when it comes to the selection of routes worked. Drivers who are part of the union will also receive layoff protection. According to the ATU, all non-union drivers are required to be laid off before any union members in the event of a necessary layoff. Also, TCI will be prohibited from subcontracting any work performed by employees represented by the ATU that could result in layoffs.

Mr. Townes said despite the victories, “we didn’t get everything we asked for,” including a family plan for affordable health insurance, dental and eye care coverage.

“I don’t think anyone ever really wins with a deal,” said Greg Dash, the labor negotiator who represented TCI. “It’s just a deal that everyone can live with for the next few years . . . however you want to look at it.”

It remains unknown whether the cost of the new contract will lead to future reductions in service.

“The service is set for the peak season, so we won’t be making many changes as we go forward now to the end of August,” said TCI general manager Darren Morris. “It will depend on what we need to cut after that to make sure we balance the budget,” he added.

“We are reviewing ridership data and will make recommendations to the board, once we have reviewed everything that we need to review,” VTA administrator Angela Grant said in an email to the Gazette Monday.

And despite the strain of the past few months, VTA administrators said they look forward to welcoming the drivers back to work on Tuesday.

“We are all working to rebuild our relationship following the strike. We need to bring the two sides back together,” Mr. Morris said.

Drivers and the ATU also extended an olive branch with an intent to rebuild the relationship with management.

‘We now have to mend the fences and get back to working together going forward,” Mr. Townes said.