Orange County

Talks to resume in bus strike

OCTA BUS serviced\ was stopped on Thursday by a strike by maintenance workers (OCTA photo).

From a staff writer and wire service reports 

Negotiations with striking maintenance workers at the Orange County Transportation Authority will resume Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

According to OCTA – which provides bus service at almost 5,500 stops across the county – Teamsters Local 952 – has agreed to resume talks which had been broken off.

“We understand how this labor dispute will adversely affect thousands of riders who depend on the bus system for their transportation needs,” Secretary-Treasurer Eric Jimenez said. “We have done everything in our power to avoid a strike.’’

An OCTA statement said its contract offer, which includes a 14.25% wage increase over three years, is very competitive. OCTA Chairman Mark A. Murphy asked the employees to return to negotiations.

“Thousands of people rely on OC Bus to get to school and work every day, and we hope the union calls off the strike to avoid further hurting the people in Orange County who can least afford to be hurt,” he said in the statement.

One sticking point is what workers will pay toward their health insurance premium.

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