Due to a bus mechanics’ strike, Orange County bus service was interrupted on Monday.
The Orange County Transit Authority’s maintenance workers unanimously decided to go on strike, which will start at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, so bus riders who depend on the agency will need to make alternative travel arrangements.
All bus service in the county is anticipated to be halted by the decision.
The OCTA posted a warning on its website stating, “We know this service interruption damages the passengers who rely on us.” In order to come to a successful conclusion and resume bus service as soon as possible, OCTA is prepared and willing to continue talks with the union that initiated the strike.
The OCTA has had about 150 mechanics, service personnel, and machinists working under an expired contract since September 30, claims Teamsters Local 952, which is representing the striking employees. Disputes started on May 25. and over 20 meetings have been held between the union and OCTA.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Eric Jimenez, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 952, stated, “We are dedicated to doing what it takes to avoid a labour action that would
interrupt transportation services for thousands of daily Orange County riders.” “But we struggle along with our members for a just and equitable accord,” the statement continues.
The Orange County Transportation Authority “refused to address significant health and welfare issues” and made a “substandard final contract offer,” according to the union, which is why it decided to strike on Wednesday.
Union members desire better healthcare benefits that would lower their out-of-pocket costs. Jimenez claimed that the plan from OCTA would increase the costs for certain members, who currently pay $350 per month for healthcare. within the following two years, to $400 to $500.
For its bus drivers, the union and OCTA came to a three-year agreement in February.
Employees of the OCTA return to the bargaining table upon request from the governor’s office.
The Teamsters Local 952 and OCTA have decided to return to the bargaining table after being invited to do so by the senior leadership team of the governor’s office.
The governor’s office requested that the union representing the maintenance staff of the Orange County Transportation Authority resume discussions after they were called off on Sunday and threatened to result in a strike.
To prevent a countywide strike, the leadership team of the governor’s office requested that the Teamsters Local 952 and OCTA return to the negotiating table.
Transportation officials caution riders that schedule changes may be made even though there will be no strike.
They have both agreed to talk, which should hopefully result in a solution.
After disagreements over salary and perks, it was decided to end negotiations and start a strike.
In a statement issued on Sunday, OCTA stated that they were dedicated to trying.
According to OCTA Chairman Mark A. Murphy, who is also the Mayor of Orange, “OCTA has made every attempt to avoid a strike, realising the catastrophic damage it brings to the thousands of passengers who depend on OC Bus as their sole means of transport.” “We have made the union a fair and reasonable offer that recognises our maintenance staff members for the excellent work they do. We sincerely hope that the union will change its mind and return to the negotiating table for the benefit of our riders.”
OCTA is still optimistic that talks with the union would result in a settlement that benefits the workers while still being financially responsible to the county.
The OCTA estimates that 85% of passengers in Orange County use OC Bus services as their main mode of transportation.
The Youth Ride Free and College Pass programmes of the OCTA allowed for more than 3 million travels on the OC Bus within the previous year, according to the OCTA.
The OCTA sent warnings to riders advising them to locate alternate transportation providers in advance of the strike because it would have a significant impact on the lives of many citizens.
The OCTA claims that they have had over 20 meetings, including mediation sessions, with the union. Try to renegotiate the contract that ended on September 30.