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Orange County Digest

County : Transit District, Drivers to Resume Salary Talks

February 26, 1987|Jeffrey A. Perlman

The Orange County Transit District and the union representing the agency's 732 bus drivers have agreed to resume contract negotiations for the first time since last December's ill-fated, two-week drivers' strike.

Also, OCTD and United Transportation Union officials said Wednesday they have agreed to name veteran labor mediator Bonnie P. Castrey to mediate the 6-month-old contract dispute. Castrey was labeled an "undisputed heroine" by management and labor during settlement of a three-week strike by 1,844 Disneyland employees in 1984.

A preliminary meeting between Castrey, UTU Local 19 Chairperson Juliene Smith and OCTD human resources manager Marlene Heyser is scheduled today.

Last week, bus drivers voted by a 2-1 margin to stay with Tustin-based UTU Local 19 by rejecting Long Beach-based Teamsters Union Local 911's takeover bid. The Teamsters had criticized UTU officials' handling of the December walkout.

The drivers have been working without a contract since the strike.

The union is seeking a 10% pay hike over three years; the district has offered 7.5% over 3 1/2 years. In addition, the union objects to OCTD's efforts to tighten policies on drug testing, reduce absenteeism and increase use of private contractors.

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