Orange County bus drivers have agreed to a new contract with the Orange County Transit Authority averting a work stoppage following a whirlwind of late night negotiations.
The two sides met for more than 21 hours beginning Monday night and worked out the details of a new deal, according to both OCTA and Teamsters Local 952, the union which represents hundreds of drivers.
The union had informed the transit authority of plans to strike last week citing desire for increased pay, bonus pay and guaranteed breaks. Midnight Tuesday was set as the deadline for a new deal to be agreed to.
Representatives for the union said in a news release that these demands were met with this latest agreement.
“The last thing any of us wanted was to disrupt bus service and have our members on the picket line,” said union secretary-treasurer Eric Jimenez. “We are all very happy we were able to avoid the strike and bring our members a contract worthy of the invaluable service they provide to Orange County.”
Drivers had been working for the transit authority despite the expiration of their most recent contract in April 2021.
The union said its members will meet vote to ratify the contract in the immediate future.
“I’m happy to say that our buses, driven by our outstanding coach operators, will continue to run, helping get our passengers to the places they need to be throughout Orange County,” said Orange mayor and OCTA board member Mark Murphy. “We believe this tentative agreement rewards the excellent work of our coach operators while remaining responsible to taxpayers.”