Transit Agency Proposes Arbitration To Avert Strike

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(Host)  The Chittenden County Transportation Authority is hoping to avert a bus driver strike by asking the union to agree to final binding arbitration.

Last weekend, drivers voted against a contract proposal negotiated by union leaders. A federal mediation session is set for Thursday, but barring a settlement, a strike by the authority’s 62 drivers could begin early Friday morning.

Meredith Birkett is the acting general manager for CCTA. Birkett says the authority asked for final binding arbitration in the event a settlement is not reached tomorrow. She says the drivers’ union said the request for arbitration was unacceptable.

(Birkett) "And we’re hoping that they’ll reconsider and that if tomorrow isn’t successful we can avoid a service disruption because we really, we understand how badly that will impact our passengers and people who rely on us and we want to do everything possible to avoid that."

(Host) CCTA serves a handful of communities in the greater Burlington area, and a strike would also affect commuter service to Middlebury, Montpelier, Milton and St. Albans.

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