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CCTA Drivers' Union Offers New Proposal

For the last two days buses sat parked inside the garage at CCTA headquarters while drivers picket out front.
SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. - For the last two days buses sat parked inside the garage at CCTA headquarters while drivers picket out front.

“Until we come up with an agreement we are on the picket lines,” said Rob Slingerland, CCTA bus driver.

Slingerland says the drivers have had enough.

“The lack of respect is part of the reason why we are out here,” said Slingerland.

Tuesday the bus drivers' union requested a meeting with CCTA to continue to negotiate a contract. Slingerland says that proposal is on paper.
 
“I don’t know the nuts and bolts of it yet, but I do know there is one,” said Slingerland.

Bill Watterson, CCTA General Manager says the company is ready to review a proposal as soon as he receives it.

“The challenge is right now what we have is news of a possible proposal and not an actual proposal so we don't have anything to review yet,” said Watterson.

Watterson says unless the proposal shows some kind of change the conversation between the groups won't likely move forward.

“If it offers a compromise toward the position of CCTA, so it’s an extension of an olive branch if you will then that's something that has some
merit then that’s something we can work with,” said Watterson.

CCTA asked the drivers to consider binding arbitration to resolve their differences. That means both groups would allow a third party to decide on a contract that both the drivers and CCTA would ultimately be required to sign. Slingerland says that's not a route the drivers want to take.

“That is not an option, not an option. Binding arbitration is out of the question,” said Slingerland.

For now the busses remain in the garage and the drivers on the picket line until a settlement is reached.

“Until we have a contract we will be striking,” said Slingerland.

The drivers say they wanted to schedule a meeting as soon as tomorrow to continue negotiations. CCTA leaders say they'd be willing to schedule a meeting once something is in writing and as long as the federal mediator is present. The union says that might not be until Saturday.

So for people who take the bus will likely need to make other plans, at least through the end of the week.


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