The Orange County Transportation Authority’s (OCTA) Board of Directors approved a new collective bargaining agreement with its coach operators Monday morning, ending a week-long strike by the Teamsters Union.
Bus drivers began reporting to work as scheduled Monday. Service had been limited to a single route since July 7 when the strike began. Officials at OCTA have announced that rides will be free for passengers through Thursday, July 19. Regular fares will resume on Friday, when service is expected to be back at 100 percent. Under the new contract, all 1,100 coach operators will receive a 14.7 percent increase in wages and benefits over the next three years. In the third year, entry level operators will earn $15.22 an hour, with the top rate at five years of $23.92 an hour, the agency reports.