January 21, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Dayton, OH – Workers at the Dayton Regional Transport Authority ratified a new contract Jan. 17, settling a dispute that had led to a four-day strike from Jan. 9-13.
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1385 members voted 280-50 to approve the deal, which will run through March 2019 and give workers 2% annual raises, beginning April 1.
“It’s a big relief for me, because this has been on my back for two years,” union President Glenn Salyer told WHIO radio. The deal will bring base pay for drivers and mechanics from about $24.50 an hour to $26 in April 2018, but preserves the two-tier system for janitors. Base pay for janitors on the job before April 2012 is $24.28, while those hired later max out at $18.74. Health-care issues remain unresolved: Either party may reopen the provisions for the health-care plan by June 1. Three Republican state legislators from the Dayton suburbs reacted by proposing bills to ban public-transit workers from striking, contending that their services are as essential as those of police and firefighters. Ohio passed a law in 2011 that would have outlawed strikes by public employees, but voters repealed it that November. Read more