Orange County Transportation Authority has hit a roadblock in its negotiations with the Teamsters Union regarding the contracts for approximately 150 workers. On the bright side, OCTA officials say that a worker strike was averted. However, the current issues that have stalled negotiations are expected to disrupt Orange County bus services in the coming weeks.
A labor union spokesperson says that OCTA has caused the delay in negotiations. The Teamsters reportedly placed a contract offer on the table. OCTA negotiators are said to have left it there, without responding.
Health care and additional costs at issue in the negotiations
It is not uncommon for parties to disagree when negotiating contracts for workers. Often, there are one or more issues to address. In this particular case, it seems that health care and other costs are raising conflict between the two sides. An OCTA chairman stated that he believes it is unfair to the people of the community to disrupt their bus service because many rely on it to get to work and school. The chairman also said that he believes the problem is avoidable and that labor union representatives are being selfish and acting without concern for the community at large.
Prior contract expired in September
The contract for the bus mechanics, technicians and machinists expired in September. OCTA reps say that the offer they gave to these employees aligns with a similar contract deal made earlier this year with coach operators and other union workers. Union reps disagree, saying OCTA has acted unfairly by ignoring the union’s offer. Contract disputes can be difficult to resolve, which is why California business owners typically seek additional support from an experienced contracts attorney, especially when their own efforts to resolve a particular issue have not been successful.