June 25, 2012

Union notifies COTA of possible strike

Transport Workers Union (TWU), Local 208, representing Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) bus drivers and vehicle/facilities maintenance employees, filed a 10-day notice of its intent to strike. If TWU members decide to walk off the job, all COTA fixed-route bus service will stop on July 2.

COTA has been negotiating with its drivers, mechanics, bus cleaners and other support workers since August 2011. By February 2012, COTA management and Union leadership had worked, with the help of a federal mediator, to reach agreement on 25 of 26 contract articles. Both parties signed more than 25 tentative agreements indicating their approval of negotiated items. Members of TWU then rejected a fact-finder’s report that recommended a resolution of the final article of the contract.

Among items tentatively agreed upon by both parties were three wage increases over three years, the opportunity to reduce health insurance premiums and introduction of a four-day work week for bus drivers.

While regular bus service would stop if employees go on strike, COTA’s paratransit service including Mainstream, Will Call and non-ADA service would continue to operate normally, according to the agency.

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