PARTA, drivers’ union reach tentative agreement

Stacey Carmany

Negotiators for the Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority and its drivers’ union agreed to a contract proposal today that would end the strike that has been ongoing for nearly three months.

The drivers could be back to work as early as Monday.

“I’m happy for my members,” said Trina Molnar, field representative for the Ohio Association of Public School Employees Local037.

The parties met last Wednesday for a session that lasted until 3 a.m. Thursday. They discussed various contract provisions but did not reach a formal agreement.

Molnar said the contract does not include a fair share provision, but it does include a signing bonus for all the drivers and enhanced insurance for part-time drivers.

“I consider that a win,” she said. “It’s a win for those people who tried so hard.”

The union will vote on the contract Wednesday morning.

Union president Gene Cozart said he expects the members will approve the contract.

There were no picketers outside PARTA’s headquarters on Summit Street today.

Check out today’s TV2 newscast and tomorrow’s Daily Kent Stater for complete coverage.