RTA puts plan in place for union strike

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Greater Dayton RTA has a plan in place if union employees move forward with their strike on Monday.

The “strike plan” lays out what transportation services the RTA will be focusing on and what ones they will be doing without if a contract deal is not met by Monday.

The ATU Local 1385 has been working without a contract since 2015 and negotiations with the Greater Dayton Transit Authority have been contentious.

According to the Greater Dayton RTA, all fixed route bus service would stop entirely and they will only run medically necessary trips for certified Project Mobility customers, for treatment such as dialysis. If you want to know if your trip qualifies, call the RTA call center at 937-425-8300.

Dayton Public School high school students who use the RTA as transportation will have to find an alternate way to get to school. DPS leaders tell us they do not have the resources to provide transportation in the event of a strike.

If enough qualified drivers show up they do have a plan to run limited service. If needed, some remaining non-union RTA employees will be trained to drive RTA vehicles. According to documents we obtained, 20 of them have Commercial Drivers Licenses.

If negotiations continue to fail between the RTA and Union employees, RTA staff tells us they will update us on Sunday to further detail how this strike will impact customers.

According to the RTA they are still working to come to some kind of agreement on the contract before the strike.

RTA CEO, Mark Donaghy said, “we are scheduled to meet with the ATU negotiating team and a state assigned mediator this coming Sunday.  Our team was hoping to meet sooner but as we understand it, Sunday was the earliest the union team is available.” he continued, “RTA management was available today, are available tomorrow or anytime between now and the threatened strike.  It concerns us that the union seems to lack a sense of urgency when the community is depending on them.”

Glenn Salyer, president of the union told 2 NEWS his members have had “enough.”

He responded to Donaghy’s remarks by saying, “

We have received conformation from our attorney that we will be meeting with RTA Sunday morning, We had agreed to this request over a week ago but was not told RTA had agreed until this afternoon. We pray for a contract can be reached for the public and our members.”

“I do apologize to our riders,” he said, “we have people who have ridden with us for years. We have taken this at a great length before we actually made the decision to strike,” Salyer said.

The RTA has posted some answers to rider questions here: http://www.i-riderta.org/atu/index

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