The Orange County Transportation Authority is notifying passengers that bus service will be halted throughout the county beginning Thursday, Nov. 3, after maintenance employees began striking this afternoon.
Passengers are asked to continue checking octa.net for service updates. ACCESS service for those with disabilities will continue as usual.
OCTA remains committed to reaching a resolution and was expecting to resume negotiations on Friday, however the union announced a strike. OCTA is willing to meet with the union at any point.
OCTA’s contract offer – which equals a 14.25% wage increase over the three years, compensates the maintenance employees fairly, is very competitive in Southern California, and is responsible to taxpayers. The offer includes an immediate 5% raise, another 4.75% raise on Oct. 1, 2023, and an additional 4.5% raise starting Oct. 1, 2024.
In addition, OCTA has offered to increase healthcare contributions by 16% over the same period while continuing contributions to the two pension plans that union members receive, including contributing 26.4% of employees’ wages to the Orange County Employees Retirement System (OCERS) and $1.30 per hour worked (up to 2,080 hours) to the Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Fund.
“We are disappointed the union has called off negotiations and ask that they return to the table so we can reach a fair resolution that rewards our maintenance employees for their great work,” said OCTA Chairman Mark A. Murphy, also the Mayor of Orange. “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.”
OCTA’s offer, subject to union ratification, would result in a top wage of $43.19 an hour for journeyman mechanics – equivalent to nearly $90,000 per year – not including healthcare and pension contributions.
OCTA’s maintenance employees are the only group who are in the Teamsters Labor Alliance Trust fund for their health insurance, meaning the plan cost and design – including premiums, co-pays and benefits – are completely within the control of Teamsters leadership. On average, OCTA’s coach operators, which are under OCTA’s healthcare plan, pay approximately $120 per month for their healthcare contribution.
Protect local journalism – please subscribe to the print edition or online edition of the Fullerton Observer. All editions are free, but subscriptions keep us printing, distributing, and posting the paper. Annual subscription is only $39/year. It only takes a minute – Click Here To Subscribe. Thank you for your support for the Fullerton Observer. Click here to view a copy of the print edition.
Categories: Local News, Regional
It makes me miss things I wanted to attend, such as the Celebration of Life for Erin Lacorte, in Cerritos this Sunday, Nov. 6. I rely on buses. My car was stolen by the Fullerton PD, then sold by its tow yard in 2019. They lied telling me I had 45 days to reclaim, but it was only 30.
TRANSIT ANGELS RIDE BOARD
Need a ride? Have a ride?
If you are stranded and don’t know what to do, check the ride board below to post your transportation needs. If you have a car, truck, or van, please consider offering rides on our ride board to others. We need to work together to try and minimize the effect of the strike on riders’ lives. Please be careful, safe, and courteous.
You do NOT have to have a Facebook account to view this:
There don’t seem to be any skeletal routes being offered as during previous strikes, just a complete shutdown, except that ACCESS service for existing ACCESS users with disabilities will continue as usual. Riders can also use Anaheim Resort Transit, Irvine Shuttle, Amtrak, Metrolink, and a few Los Angeles Metro routes and Lyft or Uber. You can also post rides needed or offered on the linked Transit Advocates of Orange County page above.
Break the union, hire new people, problem solved