RTA & union reach agreement to end strike, deal must be ratified

RTA and union reach agreement to end strike

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — After four days in their garages, RTA buses will likely begin rolling again on Friday.

The RTA took to Twitter Thursday morning, posting buses will be back on schedule Friday:

Late Wednesday night, the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority and Local 1385, the union representing the bus drivers and mechanics, reached an agreement to end the strike that began on Monday morning.

The two sides met for more than 13 hours Wednesday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dayton with a state-appointed mediator, before announcing the deal late on Wednesday night.

“Both sides committed to staying as long as it took to get this done and we have it done,” RTA CEO Mark Donaghy said. “Our next step is to get buses on the street as fast as we can.”

Local 1385 President Glen Salyer added, “We all had the same interest, getting the public service back out on the street.”

“It took commitment,” Salyer said. “Mark (Donaghy) stood in, got the commitment, and we got it done.”

Neither side released any details, at the request of the mediator, but both said they hope to restore full RTA service by Friday morning.

“We’ll be contacting our drivers tonight,” Salyer said. “We’ll be letting them know what we’ve done today and let them know to plan on being back to work.”

The union will have to vote to ratify the agreement, which is expected to happen on Thursday. The RTA will call a special meeting of it’s board to finalize the new deal.

Salyer apologized to the public for the interruption in service during Wednesday night’s press conference. Donaghy says he understands what needs to happen next.

“We’ve got a job to do now to build our relationship with our customers and we’re all going to work very hard to make that happen,” Donaghy said.

Phil Parker, the President & CEO of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce released a statement about the expected end of the strike.

“We congratulate both sides on staying at the negotiating table and reaching an agreement to end this strike,” Parker said. “Stopping bus service for just one day creates an extreme hardship on our employers and the community as a whole.”

“We are happy to see this issue resolved.”

After months of negotiating, the RTA and the union failed to reach an agreement, leading the union to go on strike on Monday morning. After two days of striking, both sides returned to the negotiating table with the mediator on Wednesday, leading to the 13 hour session to reach an agreement.

The union had said their primary areas of concern were pay and health insurance premiums. No details of the new deal were immediately released.

It’s unclear if any service will resume on Thursday. Both sides hope to have full RTA services back on Friday.

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