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Los Angeles bus drivers and mechanics to meet next week to discuss contract terms

Los Angeles bus drivers and mechanics to meet next week to discuss contract terms

Orange County bus mechanics, machinists and techs to begin strike, halting service to some L.A. routes

By Kelly O’Meara

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By Kelly O’Meara 543-586-4849 [email protected]

L.A. bus drivers and mechanics in Southern California will return to the bargaining table for the first time in a dozen years next week to discuss contract terms, as a six-month strike against the city and other bus companies threatens to disrupt service and cause massive long-term losses for bus riders and businesses.

Members of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, the Local 26 of the IBT, the Southern California Contractors Association, the CTA and other labor organizations representing the city’s bus drivers, mechanics and mechanics’ unions will meet April 29 to discuss contract terms, said a union spokeswoman, Janice Davis, who is organizing the strike.

There are a number of issues that have been in contention since negotiations began last fall.

Davis said the two sides have been discussing a 5.4 percent salary increase for the first two years, then annual raises until the contract expires in 2019.

But the unions have been asking for a longer-term five percent raise, in line with what is owed to the city’s bus drivers and mechanics under the current agreement.

The negotiators are still searching for a way to deal with other issues, such as how to handle overtime. Davis said the contract will also address the city’s plans to consolidate its six bus networks into a single one in 2023.

The union also wants to see changes in the process for reviewing drivers who have misconduct allegations, known in the industry as “fines.” The county’s contract says the agency only has to review 10 percent of those reviews annually, while the union wants to review them all. Davis said the union has no objections to using a formula that would bring the number down to 100 percent

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