OCTA buses expected to continue operating during contract negotiations – Orange County Register

The Orange County Transportation Authority and its maintenance workers continue to negotiate a new contract, and the buses are expected to run through at least the weekend.

About 150 workers — represented by Teamsters Local 952 — called a strike Nov. 2 after months of negotiations — arguing that OCTA was unwilling to back down from a final offer — and began picketing bus terminals in Santa Ana and Garden Grove . Bus service ceased the next day with no crews servicing the buses and drivers refusing to cross the picket lines.

Contract negotiations resumed last weekend and the union stopped picketing on Sunday afternoon to allow people to go to the polls for Tuesday’s election.

On Friday, discussions were ongoing and “we had productive meetings,” said OCTA spokesman Joel Zlotnik, but he declined to go into details, adding, “Our goal is to continue negotiations and have these discussions around the negotiating table.” to lead. ”

Union officials have said there are disagreements over pension and healthcare cost increases, as well as wage and healthcare disparities with other OCTA departments. The maintenance workers have been without a contract since September.

Eric Jimenez, secretary and treasurer of Teamsters Local 952, could not be reached for comment on Friday, but earlier in the week the union posted a statement on its Facebook page saying it would be at least until the OCTA board meeting on Monday November 14, there would be no pickets and members were to show up for work as scheduled.

Zlotnik said bus services are expected to continue throughout the weekend and OCTA board members will be updated on the progress of contract talks at a closed meeting on Monday.

While rain earlier in the week dampened ridership, OCTA recorded about 90,000 boardings Thursday — not far from its pre-strike ridership of about 100,000 people a day.

About 85% of OCTA’s drivers don’t have alternate transportation, so “we know how important it is to the people who use our service,” Zlotnick said.

https://www.ocregister.com/2022/11/11/octa-buses-expected-to-keep-running-amid-contract-negotiations/ OCTA buses expected to continue operating during contract negotiations – Orange County Register

Dais Johnston

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